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tips when searching for apartments

Things to Consider before Signing the Lease

tips when searching for apartmentsThink about What You Can’t Change

The most important thing to remember before signing a lease is you can’t change some things. This just means that some things you should be certain that you’ll be okay with before you sign the lease. If not, you may end up upset, with eight months left on your lease. Put yourself in the best situation by remembering the following things when exploring your rental options.

Property Manager

You cannot change your property manager. Of course, your property manager might change while you’re a resident, especially if you are a long-term resident. But you need be sure that your personality will mesh with your property manager’s personality and communication style. That’s not to say you’ll have to be the same person or you’ll need to be friends, but just that you can understand where they’re coming from.

Neighbors

Your neighbors will change. But some neighbors may stay at the apartment property longer than you. Before you sign the lease, it’s a good idea to attend a community event the apartment community is involved in. Or, even, hold one yourself. Have a cookout, or set one up with the property management staff, for the community.

Seasons

Like most people, you’ll probably visit different apartment communities during the spring and summer seasons. But a good air conditioner in the summer doesn’t equal a good furnace in the winter. Ask neighbors about how the apartments change with the seasons.

Lease

You must read your lease. You can’t change it once you sign it. It’ll tell you the responsibilities of your property manager and your own obligations while you’re a resident. This will be your guide for certain policies as well. Most of all, if you find something unacceptable in your lease, talk with the property manager about it. You might get it changed.

Think as if Your Apartment is Permanent

The best thing to do when looking at apartments is to pretend you’ll be living at the apartments permanently. This may open up your eyes to things you may not focus on. For instance, you might think to ask about how old the water heater is. You might think about the water pressure, and how much utilities generally cost.

Pretending your apartment will be permanent is a good way to come up with questions to understand your move-in situation better. Then there’ll be no surprises. Remember, if you have any questions about the apartment you’re visiting, don’t leave it unanswered. Ask the property manager and do your own research.

when to contact your property manager

When to Contact Your Property Manager

when to contact your property managerProperty managers are like community organizers. They plan visits, fill vacancies, submit and follow-up on maintenance issues, resolve tenant complaints, and much more. They work to ensure their apartment community works like it should. Contacting your property manager shouldn’t be your number one option for settling certain issues. On the other hand, you definitely shouldn’t hesitate if one of the following occurs.

Emergency

If your air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, it’s reason to contact your property manager. Do so quickly, so maintenance can put you on their task list (because they probably have a list of jobs to do). Priority is obviously given to emergencies, so the sooner you report your issue to the property manager the sooner your home will be back to normal.

But if you contact your manager for an emergency, make sure it’s an emergency. For instance, an inoperative cabinet door may seem like an emergency when you’re hosting a dinner party. But you should simply submit a repair request to the property staff instead of the manager in that situation (and others like it).

But, to be safe, if you don’t know if your issue is an emergency or could be considered one, submit it straight to the property manager. They’ll know how to classify your request.

Concerns

If you have questions or concerns regarding property rules you should contact your property manager. From parking issues to pool policies, the rules are in place for reasons your property manager can give to you for clarification.

Safety concerns should be brought up with your property manager as well. When common area doors are either jammed or broken, it’s important to get those fixed. If there is broken glass in the parking lot, for instance, it’s in the interest of the community to get it cleaned up.

Living in an apartment community is different from living at home by yourself. General and emergency maintenance is taken care of for you. And property managers are there to make your stay as comfortable and smooth as possible. Don’t be afraid to communicate when you have issues.

questions to ask before signing the lease

5 Questions to Ask before Signing the Lease

questions to ask before signing the leaseWhen you’re apartment searching, don’t schedule visits without preparing some questions first. Here are five general questions to get you ready for your next visit.

Fees

Ask what costs are included in rent and what aren’t. Are utilities included? Water? What about a recycling option? It’s also useful to know how often rent increases and by what percentage. Some apartment complexes increase rent by a certain percentage every year. How will you access the internet? Does the property provide it or are there local options?

Guests

Is there a limitation to the amount of guests that can visit at once? Where can they park? Will they need parking permits? Friends and family are important. Get to know the policies so you won’t be in the dark when they visit.

Pets

What kind of pets are allowed? Are there limitations on breed or restrictions on weight? Must they be house trained before they’re allowed on the premises? Many properties won’t allow untrained pets. So it’s good to have an idea before you decide to go out and buy a puppy.

Repairs

How often are repairs taken care of? What is the normal procedure for submitting a repair request? How do you follow through on repair requests? Maybe once a year you might need to submit a repair request. You’ll rest easy knowing what that looks like.

Parking

You’ll have to park somewhere. Ask about whether the parking lot is generally full, when it’s the busiest, and if you’ll need a parking permit. That way, if the parking is scarce, you can plan ahead.

These questions should give you a general idea of whether the apartment is a good fit for you. But if any specific questions come to mind, don’t be afraid to ask. That’s what property managers are there for!