Having your own apartment is always the best possible solution, as it gives you the all necessary peace and quiet. However, not all of us are in a position to be able to afford ourselves an apartment, especially if you’re young and single.
But, being young and single doesn’t justify you staying in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life – you need to move out, and you need to move out fast, and renting an apartment is your only option.
As someone who travels a lot, I have rented out dozens, maybe even hundreds of apartments back in the day, and while they all had their own beauties, almost every time I rented – I had something giving me a headache.
One night, as I was looking for a rental apartments in Brooklyn NY, I figured out I needed a list of at least ten things I should avoid when moving to a rental apartment. I ended up writing 11, and here they are:
Not knowing who you’re renting from
When browsing online for apartments, always look for the name of the landowner and Google him. You’ll be surprised.
If it’s too good to be true – it’s probably fake
This is also a very important thing to know – don’t believe everything you see. Photos can be deceiving, and if someone’s offering something too good to be true – it’s probably not true.
Avoid using unsecured payment methods
If your landlord refuses to use PayPal or is forcing you to pay via services which have no trace-ability – don’t accept. There are many people out there waiting to scam you.
Always ask for additional details
Who are your neighbors? Have all the bills been paid? Were there any leaks recently? Or fires? Ask as many questions you can think of.
Avoid strange real estate agencies
If the agency you’re dealing with has a public email address (like Gmail or Yahoo), or has an outdated phone number listed, I’d recommend looking the other way.
Read the reviews!
Never avoid reading reviews from other people who rented the same apartment as you. They might have valuable information.
Always ask about additional fees
Sometimes there are additional fees which are not mentioned, like a cleaning lady coming twice a week or something like that. Make sure you don’t get pulled into extra expenses just because you weren’t paying attention.
Write everything down
Getting a properly written contract saves a lot of headaches. Make sure you follow that rule.
If you’re renting an apartment in a different country with a different currency, additional banking fees might apply. Make sure you check it out.
Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate!
People usually list a price online which is fairly above reasonable, hoping that someone would come along who doesn’t really know how prices are ranged and how much things actually cost. Always ask for a discount.
Trust your gut
If something doesn’t seem right – trust yourself. Sometimes you won’t spot trouble until it’s too late.