How to Avoid Getting Screwed When Renting an Apartment

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2014 Published: Sunday, 21 September 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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How to Avoid Getting Screwed When Renting an Apartment:


*Talk to Existing Tenants: While this may seem a little intimidating, if you want to get a good idea of what it's like to live in a particular apartment building you need to speak to people that already live there.

*Get Everything in Writing: If anything is ever unclear, make sure it's clarified in writing and becomes part of your lease. If something in the lease seems wrong, ask for it to be amended. If there are circumstances that you feel should allow you to break your lease, make sure that becomes part of your lease before you sign it. If at any point you consider that something should be in writing, put it in writing.

*Document Your Move-in with Photos: Often times your landlord will take photos before you move in and after you move out in order to document anything in the apartment. You should do the same thing. Before you move in and sign the lease, it's also best if you can get a tour and take photos as well. Concentrate on any issues in the apartment, such as damage or other problems. Ask to have these issues fixed before you sign the lease and do not sign until these issues are dealt with. If a landlord doesn't get around to fixing any move-in issues before the lease signing, it's a good sign that s/he'll be slow to fix any issues after you move in as well.

*Know Your Rights: View our website for renter rights. If you have any questions feel free to ask. 

*Be Honest: Renting an apartment is a business relationship between the tenant and the landlord, so it stands to reason that the tenant can be the problem as well. If you want to be a good tenant, you need to do more than pay your rent on time. In fact, in many cases, honesty and care can go much farther than timeliness. If you're going to have trouble paying your rent one month or have some sort of problem, you will almost always be better served by being honest with your landlord. Additionally, take care of the unit you're renting. If you accidentally damage anything, own up to it. When you move out, restore the unit to the way it looked (or better) than when you moved in. (This is where taking pictures helps, too.) In general, if you're good, honest, and treat the rental property with respect, you'll be in a much better position to get help or be on higher ground if there's a problem.



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