As a property manager of many years, Barry Lipsitz offers his expert advice to first time apartment renters.
Moving into your first apartment is always exciting, however, finding the right one, at the right price in a space that suits your needs is always an unnerving experience. It is important to do some research and know what you are looking for before jumping into a lease. Here are a few tips from Property Manager Barry Lipsitz on what to look out for before you sign the final lease agreement.
The first step is to figure out your budget. The rule of thumb is to not spend more than 30% of your monthly income on accommodation. Place your attention on searching in areas that match your budget constraints. You do have the option of sharing with a roommate if you want a bigger place in a better area, however, you need to ensure that the people you share your rented space with are of the habits and types of people you are comfortable with.
Once you have found the perfect place within your budget, you will then need to show the landlord that you are a great tenant. A landlord may insist that you pay for all background and credit checks – so be prepared. You will also need to stand out from the rest of the possible tenants. As a first time renter, you will not have any previous lease agreements or testimonials. You can present the landlord with a résumé that contains your personal details, references, your monthly income and a copy of the credit record if you already have one. Any detail that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates should be on your résumé.
Many first time renters make the mistake of not reading the lease agreement thoroughly. Also, before you sign make sure you obtain a copy of the Body Corporate rules and regulations of the building. Details to look out for include:
- The start and end date of the lease
- Details about how they will handle your deposit and make sure the final monthly rental is what was verbally agreed upon
- Details regarding reasons for lease termination by the landlord
- What are the penalties, if any, should you choose the end the lease before the agreed-upon period.
- What are your responsibilities regarding repairs?
- What compensation are you entitled to for any improvements to the property?
- Are there any stipulations about sub-letting or guest visitors.
Another key element to check before you sign the contract is to make sure the apartment is fit to live in. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Make sure all pipes are not leaking.
- Ensure that all faucets are working, both hot and cold, as well as the pressure and the flushing mechanisms of the toilet.
- Check all the lights and other electronic devices, the air conditioner, and the heating system.
- Check if all the windows can open and check the wall for any cracks, holes or any damage.
Once you are satisfied with everything and have made completely sure that everything in the contract is as what was verbally agreed upon – you are welcome to sign. Should there be anything in the lease you are not happy about, be sure to discuss it with the landlord beforehand. If you are still not satisfied, continue your search. Renting an apartment is a big commitment and should feel like home.
Be sure to connect with Barry Lipsitz across social media for more advice and information about property management and rentals.