So you’re looking to move out and rent your own apartment somewhere in your locality or far away, maybe even in a different state. The world of rentals is such a jungle that it would be great if there were some kind of cheat sheet to help with making decisions. We decided to ask someone with experience about some of the things to look out for before renting a house.
Brianna Chen, a Chinese language instructor from EssayOnTime.co.uk has pretty much lived in tens of rentals from China to the USA and lots of places in between. If there’s anyone who knows the things to look out for before renting, then it would be her. She gave us some pretty useful tips for what to look out for before renting.
Power Outlet Basics
This is one of those things you can’t skimp on. You need to pay attention to the number of power outlets there are in the house. You want as many as you can find, preferably in every single room of the house. That way, no matter how many appliances you have in the house, you won’t want for power outlets. If you don’t make sure of this then you’re going to have to deal with numerous extension cords all over the house. You should also check to ensure that the voltage provided is the kind that you require. The best way to do this is by turning on both a microwave and kettle at the same time and checking if they work normally. If they do work, then the power outlets are functioning just fine.
Internet and Television Basics
The next step is to check if the internet and television connection is okay. The fact is that you are unlikely to live in a house for very long if you don’t have either a TV connection or an internet connection. These are the characteristics of modern civilization. They have come to be as basic as food, shelter, and clothing. You should, therefore, check that these connections are available before you move into the house. In case the owner says that these connections aren’t available, and you still like the place to want to move in and solve the problem yourself, ask the owner if they’re okay with you making the improvements yourself. You should also ask them if they’re willing to deduct the installation costs from the rent.
Of course, no one wants to move into an apartment that is festering in mold. It can lead to unpleasant smells, unpleasant looks, and a splitting headache when you try to get rid of it. Mold also poses a health risk since the spores are potentially dangerous if you breathe in. If you’re moving in with any seniors or children, in particular, then you don’t want to move into a house with mold as they are particularly susceptible to mold. Inspect the house for the presence of any dark spots. These will typically form in humid places, such as in the bathroom, the kitchen, and so on.
Many landlords will charge you rent separately from your utility bills. That means you’re going to have to pay utility bills on your own, usually in the form of extra bills on your rent receipts. It’s, therefore, a good idea to have meters for utilities in your house so that you can accurately track your use of utilities and stay on top of your expenses.
If you drive, then you’ll need a place to park your car at night when you get home. It’s therefore imperative that you check for parking space at the apartment complex and whether you can reserve it for your vehicle or not. If parking space isn’t available, then you’re going to have some tough decisions to make, especially if you love the apartment and still want to move in all the same. You can go for a walk and check to see if there are roads that are visible from your window and allow parking, paid parking lots, or large shopping centers or gas stations where you can park your vehicle.
This is the simplest part of the inspection prior to deciding whether you want to move into an apartment or not. Look out your window for a few moments. This isn’t in reference to the beautiful view, though a beautiful view would definitely be a plus. What you should be looking for are any neon or LED signs that are visible from your window. If the neon lights can penetrate your curtains at night then they may trigger insomnia. You should also look for other things that could potentially cause noise. These include nightclubs, major roads, and bars, which could also deprive you of sleep.
You should ask the owner of the apartment if animals previously resided in the apartment. This is important if you or those you will be living in the apartment with have any allergies to fur. Make sure all the cat and dog fur has been cleaned out of the carpet and the corners of the carpet.
Door and Window Functionality
This should come as a given but it is worth mentioning for the sole reason that some people may overlook it. Make sure you can easily and securely lock all the doors in the apartment. The last thing you want to deal with is constant worry about the security of your apartment. You should also check that the windows can easily be opened and closed or else you won’t be able to let air into the room. You don’t want a stuffy summer.
Keep a Log of Existing Property
Get the owner’s help and make a comprehensive list of all the things you found in the apartment that are available for you to use. This list should be included in your lease contract. You should include such details as whether the property is in any way damaged so that you don’t get accused of damaging it later when you’re trying to move out.
Is the Apartment for Sale?
Many owners conveniently keep it a secret from their renters whether or not the apartment they’re renting out is for sale. In case they get a buyer for the apartment, they won’t have any qualms about getting rid of the renter. You should make sure a penalty is included in the lease contract for premature termination, and the fact that it is payable by the owner of the apartment. Even so, the owner could simply ask you to leave the apartment as soon as possible and that’s not pleasant either. To avoid the drama, always ask the owner if the apartment is for sale and check online and in local listings to see if it’s listed. As far as you can, always avoid renting apartments that are for sale.
About the Author: Terence Murray has been working as a professional editor in London publishing agency for 4 years. Now he is journalist-freelancer and wide ranged professional content developer. Don`t be afraid to connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
If you liked this article, subscribe to Rentometer's email newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in rental housing.