At one time or another, we are all likely to experience living in an apartment. Living in a big city, apartments are commonplace. College students will most likely spend at least one year in an apartment complex. So, since most people will spend time living in an apartment, there are a few things that you should ask when hunting for the right place for you.
1. What is the monthly rate? What does this rate include? Sewage, hot water, heat, cable, high-speed Internet, and trash are things you should check for. If they aren't covered in the monthly rate, you'll have to pay extra for them so beware of hidden prices before signing a lease.
2. What is the neighborhood like? What is the crime rate like? What are the neighborhood demographics? 3. What kinds of security options are offered within the complex? Are there lights in the parking lot at night? Bolts for the doors? Is the complex policed in any way?
4. What expectations does the complex have of you? Are you expected to make repairs in the apartment? These can come in the form of hidden costs or required commitments.
5. Can you sub-lease? In the event that you are going to be elsewhere due to travel, work, family, etc, you may want to sublease your apartment. Subleasing usually has to be approved by the complex and you are liable for any damages while you are away. Just to clarify, subleasing is when you rent your apartment out to someone else temporarily while still under your contract. They pay the rent, but you are usually still responsible for it if something happens and it doesn't get paid. So ask the manager to explain how subleasing works for your particular complex.
6. What happens if you lock yourself out? Will they let you back in? Most apartment complexes don't want you to make copies of your keys, so its important to know that they are going to be available 24/7 to help out.
7. Maintenance. What happens if the faucet breaks? You get a leak in the tub? You find a rat hole? Who has to take care of the repairs? Does the complex cover certain things while others must be paid for out of pocket?
Some other things to remember when apartment hunting: You should ask to see an apartment. The only way to be sure you aren't being scammed is to check it out before you sign your name to it. Also, note how you are treated when you go in to talk to the manager. Are they friendly and helpful? Do they go out of the way to accommodate your needs? Is the office clean and organized? These things can give you insight into what it would be like to live there. Good luck finding the apartment of your dreams and feel free to comment with any questions!