Renting a new home can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if it is your first time to do so. There are a lot of things to take into consideration, and this is a big decision. It is beneficial to know what you are looking for before you begin to look.
With that said, there are some preliminary things you can do to make communication easier between you and the leasing agent. There is nothing more disappointing on both ends than when you aren’t looking at the right apartments for what you want. Make a list of things you need in an apartment and things you want in an apartment. Consider things like price range, location (walking distance to class, etc.), and what appliances are important for you to have in your home (such as dishwasher and washer and dryer). If there is a possibility that you will have a pet in that home, let the agent know that as well. Also, think about what you will live without in order to have something else. Having all of these ideas in your head beforehand will definitely make the showing and choosing process easier.
After your initial conversation with the leasing agent in which you briefly discuss your needs and wants, he or she will have narrowed down which apartments are best suited for you, and probably will have scheduled an appointment for viewings. During this appointment, there is more in depth information that will be helpful for you to know about each property. If you have never rented before you may not know what to ask, so here are some questions I feel everyone should ask, and that may help get you started on a more personalized list:
- When is rent due, and when is it late?
- What utilities are required for this property?
- Who is responsible for maintenance on the apartment or house? What will you (the company) take care of and what will I? This is especially important, because for example, you may be responsible for mowing the grass at a house, and you should be prepared to do so.
- Who is responsible for pest control?
- What is the pet policy?
- Can I paint or make minor alterations to the unit?
I hope this helps you focus and prepare before you set out to find a rental property, and you should ask these questions of any company, not just us. Renting and living on your own is fun and exciting, and hopefully we can help you make the process easy too!