Do your homework
No matter how pressed for time you might be, don't rent the first place you find. Take time to shop around, visiting several places so you can compare prices and amenities offered. Check the classified ads online at your local Craigslist site and in a variety of daily and weekly newspapers, and ask friends and co-workers if they know of any available rental units.
Tour Properties in Person
While virtual tours can be found on most apartment complexes' websites, there's no substitute for visiting a community in person. Websites will provide an idea of what the community and interior look like, and should be used as an initial screen. Walking around your potential new neighborhood and apartment will give you a better feel for the location, Also, don't limit the search to one property; visit at least two, so that you have a comparison.
The best way to win over a prospective landlord is to be prepared. To get a competitive edge over other applicants, bring the following when you meet the landlord: a completed rental application; written references from landlords, employers, and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report.
Review the lease
Carefully review all of the conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, get everything in writing. Keep copies of any correspondence and follow up an oral agreement with a letter, setting out your understandings. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable -- for example, restrictions on guests, pets, design alterations, or running a home business.
Invest in renters insurance
Renters insurance is really a form of homeowners insurance. It covers losses to your property from a variety of perils, including fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, explosions, riots, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, vandalism, theft, falling objects, electrical current damage and accidental overflow of water. Your landlord's insurance policy will not cover your losses due to theft or damage. Renters' insurance also covers you if you're sued by someone who claims to have been injured in your rental due to your carelessness.
Protect your security deposit
To protect your self and avoid any misunderstandings, make sure your lease or rental agreement is clear on the use and refund of security deposits, including allowable deductions. When you move in, do a walk-through with the landlord to record existing damage to the premises on a move-in statement or checklist.
What about repairs?
Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental properties "livable" and "habitable." That means your unit should have heat, water, electricity and sufficient weatherproofing, and it also should be structurally sound and sanitary. It doesn't mean that your landlord is on the hook for purely cosmetic repairs. If a cosmetic repair is really bugging you and you really want to tackle it, don't assume that doing so will give you a break on that month's rent. Any such arrangement must be agreed upon by your landlord in advance and spelled out in writing. For those more serious repairs that fall in the "livable" or "habitable" category, though, do this: Write to your landlord about the problem and keep a copy of the letter. Give him or her reasonable time to make the repairs.
Ready for something a little more permanent?
Rosewood Home Builders is a custom homebuilder located right here in Latham and has several new homes for sale in the Capital Region. You can design your own personal custom home or choose from one of the move-in ready SPECS that are just waiting for you to call them “home”.
And when you build with Rosewood Home Builders you don't have to worry about the restrictions of lease, you can move into your beautiful new home as soon as it's ready, without any of the hassle.