ForRent.com recently reached out to industry professionals for some insider information on apartment shopping. Beginning your apartment search can be stressful, so it only makes sense to get advice directly from the pros so that your upcoming move can go as smoothly as possible. Here is what the experts had to say.
When shopping around for new apartment communities, potential renters miss opportunities to ask questions. Renters shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and have a conversation with the leasing staff; it will allow you to learn a lot about the community. Here are some important questions to consider asking:
- What are the hours of the common areas and other amenities and how many guests can I have with me when using them?
- Is the leasing team the same management team that will be taking care of me if I become a resident?
- Do you accept online payments? Is there a fee associated with it?
- What is the pet policy?
- What is the average annual increase in rent?
- Do you require renters insurance?
Protect Yourself, Give Notice & Make Preparations:
Planning on moving out of your current apartment? It is suggested to start shopping around for
your new apartment 4-6 months before your lease is up, and to let the current management know 60 days before you intend to move out. Once you move into to your new apartment, take photos of the condition, that way when you chose to move, you will have a better chance of getting your security deposit back. Also, prior to moving out, make sure the apartment is thoroughly cleaned and any damage has been fixed. Schedule and be present at a move out inspection with the property manager so that everyone is on the same page about what has or has not been damaged. Finally, save receipts from things like carpet cleaners and other services as proof of your maintenance efforts.
Ask if Rent is Negotiable:
Most people don’t realize that you can negotiate the rent amount in some cases. “Winter months are slower and, therefore, make it easier to find special offers and deals,” said Tarra Secrest, Management Specialist from Drucker & Falk. Familiarize yourself with the rent prices of other similar communities in the area. Let them know how much a month you are comfortable with spending, and see if they can accommodate that amount.
There are a lot of things to consider when searching for a new apartment. However, if you take the time to find the community that best fits all your needs, all of your hard work will be rewarded with the new apartment of your dreams.