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Blog category: Renting

9 Helpful Tips for First-Time Apartment Renters

4 min read

Are you getting ready to move into your first apartment? Wondering what to know for first-time apartment renters?

Renting your first place is a big step. You’ll need to be financially responsible and prepared to take good care of someone else’s property. We’re making it easier for first-time apartment renters to find, apply, and move into an apartment with nine helpful tips for renting. Follow this first apartment essentials checklist for renters to help you prepare to successfully rent your first apartment.

1. Know Your Budget and Save Up

Renting an apartment is expensive — even if you find a great deal. In addition to monthly rent, you’ll need to consider other costs that go into renting, including:

  • Monthly utilities like electric or internet
  • One-time security deposit to cover damages you may cause
  • First month’s rent to secure the apartment
  • Furnishing your new place
  • Fees for amenities like parking spots
  • Recurring costs like groceries

Take a close look at your income and expenses before you start shopping for an apartment. You’ll need to consider all of the costs of renting and save up for initial upfront costs like your security deposit. Depending on where you want to live and how much income you have, you may need to consider living with a roommate to help cover costs.

2. Find Out What You Need to Rent an Apartment

Although the requirements to rent will vary between apartments and landlords, you’ll usually need to meet certain criteria to be approved for the place. Ask the property management company or landlord what the minimum requirements are to rent the apartment you’re interested in.

  • A certain credit score or a co-signer if you don’t have the credit
  • A list of references, much like applying to a job
  • Proof of income
  • First month’s rent and a security deposit equal to the monthly rent
  • Application fee to apply for the apartment

3. Consider Parking and Commuting

As you search for apartments, it’s important to consider location. You might be comfortable with a longer commute to live in a popular neighborhood. On the other hand, living near your work or school might be the most important aspect of renting an apartment.

Parking is another big factor when looking for a place to live. Some apartment complexes have large garages where tenants can park securely for a monthly fee. Other places may have first-come, first-served street parking. Still other places offer one parking spot for a specific unit — even if multiple people live there. Ask the landlord about the parking situation and your options before you commit to renting the apartment.

4. Search in the Winter

There are better times of the year to look for housing than others. Late spring, for example, often means a lot of high school and college graduates are looking for a place to rent. People also tend to move to new apartments in warmer months because the move is easier in good weather.

Winter is a great time to look for apartments and potentially save money. Just be aware there may be fewer places to rent than in the middle of spring. The upside is that you might find the perfect place at a reduced cost because demand is low.

5. Give Yourself Enough Time

While you should try to shop around in the slow season, you may not find the apartment that’s right for you. If possible, give yourself enough time to wait for a good apartment to become available. Jumping on the first apartment you find could leave you paying more in rent or not having the amenities you wanted.

6. Make a List of Questions to Ask

Ask a lot of questions when you tour apartments. This gives you a chance to learn more about the property and your responsibilities. It’s also a great way to find out how good the landlord is at communicating and working with tenants.

Start with questions like:

  • How long is the rental term?
  • Do I have access to laundry facilities?
  • Who do I call if something breaks?
  • Are trash and recycling included in the price?
  • How close are the nearest essentials like groceries or gas?
  • Are there quiet hours or restrictions on guests?

7. Start Gathering Essentials

First-time apartment renters usually don’t have a lot of the furnishings they need to be comfortable in their new home. Once you know you’re going to be renting an apartment, start slowly gathering the essentials. You don’t want to move into your new place only to find out you don’t have any cooking utensils or dishes.

If your current home has space, consider slowly gathering essentials over time. This lets you find essentials like pots and pans or towels at a great price and spreads the cost out over several months.

8. Clean Before You Move In

Most apartments require the previous tenant to clean up when they move out. Unfortunately, a lot of renters open the door to their new place only to find trash and dust. Before you start bringing boxes into your apartment, give it a deep cleaning.

9. Protect Your Belongings with Insurance

As a first-time apartment renter, you’re probably ready to get settled into your new place. Before you get too comfortable, however, you should consider adding insurance policies that can help protect you and your belongings from accidents.

Renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance. It protects your belongings from covered accidents like fires or theft. It can also help pay for medical bills or legal fees if a guest gets hurt while visiting you. Contact a Wawanesa agent today to learn more.

Advertisement: Affordable protection with renters insurance. Click to get a quote.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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