15 Things You Should Know Before Renting an Apartment
Sometimes, it can be hard to find a good rental apartment.
This is why Bright Side prepared the following list of things you should pay attention to before signing a contract.
1. Check the number of outlets
Pay attention to how many outlets for appliances there are in the house. They should be in every room. Otherwise you'll end up having to entangle the whole apartment with extension cords.
Check if the outlets can take the voltage you require. All you need to do is to turn on a kettle and a microwave at the same time. If they work normally, the power points can withstand the load well.
2. Find out if the Internet and TV are connected
Few people are able to stay in a house for a long time without the Internet and TV. Find out in advance whether the rented apartment is connected to these benefits of civilization. In case the owner responds negatively, ask if they'll agree to you solving this problem yourself, and whether the owner is ready to deduct the associated costs from the rent.
3. Check that there's no mold
Mold in an apartment is obviously an unpleasant thing. It's the cause of bad smells, looks unattractive, and it's almost impossible to get rid of. At the same time, breathing in mold spores is dangerous to your health. It's especially harmful for elderly people and children.
Therefore, it's a good idea to examine a new apartment for the presence of dark fungal spots. Most often they form in places where there is a high degree of humidity: in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and on the windowsills.
4. Ask if there are meters for utilities
Often enough, landlords don't include the utility bills in your rent. This means you have to pay extra on receipts. In this case, it's better if there are meters in the apartment, so you can control your own expenses.
5. Think about parking space
If you have a car, you'll need a place to leave it overnight. Find out if there's parking space next to the house reserved for the apartment's owner. If not, go for a walk and think about where you'll leave your car for the night: whether there are paid parking lots, roads visible from your window (without signs prohibiting parking), or shopping centers with large parking lots.
6. Look out the window
We're not talking about a beautiful view here. It's better to check whether there are places with luminous signs in front of your window. If you don't pay attention to this, neon rays penetrating the house through the window can cause prolonged insomnia.
Major roads, nightclubs, and bars located next to the house can also deprive you of sleep.
7. Ask if there were animals in the apartment before
This point is relevant for those who are allergic to fur. If you're one of those people, then when entering a rented apartment you should make sure that there's no cat fur either on the carpet or in the corners.
9. The windows open, the doors close
Make sure the doors of the apartment can be easily and securely locked. Believe us, you don't want to constantly worry about your property.
It's better to also check if the windows can be easily closed and opened. If it turns out they don't open, you won't be able to air the room, and there's a chance you'll suffer from stuffiness in the summer.
10. Write down the property remaining in the apartment
With the owner's help, make a detailed list of things that are left for you to use, and attach it to the contract. It's desirable to immediately indicate whether the items are damaged in any way, so that the owner won't be able to accuse you of spoiling the property.
11. Check if the apartment is for sale
Often the owners don't tell you the apartment they rent out is for sale. In this case, they're ready to get rid of the renters as soon as they find a buyer.
Of course, you'll be able to indicate a penalty for an early termination in the contract, and the owner will have to pay it. Nevertheless, a request to leave as soon as possible will hardly make you happy. So try to protect yourself from unpleasant surprises and rent a house that's not for sale.
12. What if something breaks?
Make sure it's indicated in the contract who will pay if something breaks through no fault of your own. Ask whether the owner is ready to bear these expenses and deduct them from the monthly rent.
If the owner asks for repairs to be organized by you, they must also be ready to cover all costs.
13. How often will it be inspected?
Don't forget to ask the owner how often they'll inspect the place while you're living there. It's natural for the owner to want to know about the state of their apartment. However, sometimes they cross a line and keep their tenants under total control.
The only way to protect yourself from the owner's constant presence in the apartment is to write the frequency of visits into the contract. It's desirable that the owner comes no more than once a month and at a pre-agreed time. This visit can be combined with paying the rent.
14. Set the "limits for greed"
How often and by how much the owner can raise the rent should be written into the contract. If you miss this point, the landlord may soon begin to demand unrealistic amounts from you which you weren't expecting and probably can't afford.
15. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the apartment
If you find yourself staring at a dirty apartment, don't rush to sign a contract. It's possible there are even more unpleasant drawbacks hidden behind the mess. You can ask the owner to clean up, but be prepared for them to simply refuse any further discussion and ask you to leave.
If it's only the dirt that's causing you to feel doubts about the place, don't rush to give up on it. Thoroughly inspect the apartment - that way you can decide whether you can bring it into a normal state on your own.