Renting an apartment is a tricky process that can be incredibly intimidating for first-timers. When renting your first apartment, you’ll likely make a few mistakes — ones that could, unfortunately, follow you the rest of your life. We’ve put together a list of the 7 most common mistakes to avoid when renting your first apartment to help you.
- Renting Without Visiting
- Skimming The Lease
- Settling For A Location You’re Unhappy With
- Assuming Utilities Are Included
- Not Having Enough Money To Pay The Deposit
- Going Without Renter’s Insurance
- Ignoring Property Damage On Moving Day
1. Renting Without Visiting
Browsing online listings is a common way to search for your first apartment, but make sure to visit it before signing the lease. You don’t want to discover any deal-breakers after you’ve already committed. Sometimes rooms are smaller than they appear in the pictures, and sometimes the photos are of a completely different unit.
2. Skimming The Lease
Paying a certain amount of rent by a specific time is easy enough to understand. But landlords can have very particular rules on very specific things, and you don’t want to be blindsided by the details. So block off some time to spend with your copy of the lease, grab a drink, and get comfortable.
3. Settling For A Location You’re Unhappy With
The community you live in matters as much as your apartment. When everything in your life is close by, especially school or work, life becomes less stressful. Also, watch out for any neighborhood red flags — anything you don’t feel comfortable living near.
4. Assuming Utilities Are Included
Many apartments do include utilities, but from our experience, those are the exceptions. It’s safer to assume they’ll be a separate expense on top of your rent. If you’re not sure if the rent includes utilities, ask your landlord or apartment property manager.
5. Not Having Enough Money To Pay The Deposit
A security deposit and other up-front costs are the highest hurdles a prospective renter needs to clear. Deposits can equal two months’ rent or one month’s rent plus an extra fee. If you can’t pay the deposit, it’ll delay moving day or even disqualify you from the tenant pool.
Ask the landlord how much the deposit is before signing the lease. If it’s more money than you can easily pull together, then you’re better off looking for another place. Or, you could ask if your landlord will allow a co-signer on the lease who can share the financial obligations.
6. Going Without Renter’s Insurance
Many landlords require their tenants to have renter’s insurance, but even if yours doesn’t, you want it. Without it, your stuff – primarily expensive electronics like computers, TVs, and game consoles – isn’t protected in case of theft or damage. If someone gets hurt in your apartment, your insurance policy may help you pay medical bills as well.
7. Ignoring Property Damage On Moving Day
When you arrive on moving day, the first thing you should do is walk through the empty apartment and take pictures of any damage you find, no matter how insignificant it may seem. These photos will protect you if your landlord later decides to dispute who’s responsible for the damage.
You know that giant mystery stain was there when you moved in. But unless you have the pictures to prove it, you could be left with an equally massive cleaning bill.
How A Property Management Company Can Help
First-time renters have a lot of questions, and we’re here to help. Our experts can help you decipher the legalese of your lease and understand your tenant responsibilities. Since our company is also a real estate broker, we maintain an exclusive database of available apartments in Denver.
Our property managers dedicate themselves to solving issues quickly. For example, you’ll receive timely responses to maintenance requests from our team. As soon as we see your request, we’ll arrange repairs with our network of trusted trade professionals.
Contact A Denver Property Manager Today
Virtually everyone has been a first-time renter at some point in their lives. The more you learn from the people who’ve gone before you and the fewer mistakes you make, the less it will cost you and the easier renting will be. If you’re moving to Denver, contact Cobalt Creek Property Management today to talk with one of our apartment rental property managers.