Being an independent adult can feel so liberating, especially when you’re ready to move out of your parent’s house. It’s an exciting, yet potentially scary time. There are so many decisions to make, all for the first time. One of the biggest is renting your first apartment.
Each application process is different depending on your landlord or the apartment building’s operations. Usually, there is a small screening and/or application fee and you will most likely need to put down a security deposit which could be as much as a whole month’s rent.
When renting an apartment for the first time, your landlord will want to know that she or he can trust you to live in her or his property. He or she will most likely need copies of several tax forms, pay stubs, bank statements, contact information of your current or past employers and/or landlords, and photo ID. If you’re not sure what documents you need, don’t be afraid to ask the landlord or apartment building manager ahead of time.
Unfortunately, renters have fallen prey to fraudulent practices by their landlords or apartment managers. Be wary of ads for rental properties on the internet, especially if the ad for the apartment seems ‘too good to be true’, as these ads are often fraudulent. Furthermore, property owners can misrepresent themselves and scam you if you are not cautious. You can avoid red flags by going through a legitimate home rental company.
But how do you know it is a legitimate rental company? Check out their website. Does it have excessively poor grammar or lack of good photos? If there isn’t a screening process or if the landlord refuses to meet in person, you shouldn’t trust it.
Make a List
Before you start moving everything into your new apartment, take a close look at the whole property. Make a list of anything that looks scratched, stained, loose, or broken. Take pictures of all the damage if you can. Often, renters get stuck paying extra fees for damage that they didn’t cause, all because they can’t prove that it wasn’t them who damaged the property. Don’t let this be you. Keep your list and photos as future proof in case your landlord demands you pay extra for damages.
Renting your first apartment is an exciting experience. There is a thrilling level of freedom in having a place you can call your own. However, don’t be a naïve renter. Be sure that you understand the application process, know red flags to look out for, and make a list of damages so that you don’t get trapped into fraudulent renter scams or spend more money than previously planned.
Here’s another article that you might like: What You Should Look for in a Starter Home
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