How to rent an apartment
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How to Rent an Apartment. Office of Residential Life and Housing Amy Gauthier, Director of RLH Michelle Esposito, Area Coordinator. What are you looking for?. Start with a list of preferences Privacy vs. economic implications What items are non-negotiable? Location

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How to Rent an Apartment

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How to Rent an Apartment

Office of Residential Life and Housing

Amy Gauthier, Director of RLH

Michelle Esposito, Area Coordinator


What are you looking for?

  • Start with a list of preferences

    • Privacy vs. economic implications

    • What items are non-negotiable?

    • Location

      • Metropolitan area vs. rural area

      • Commute for work vs. commute for social life

      • Neighbors


So you want a roommate?

  • Possible considerations

    • Professional/school schedule

    • Social schedule/habits

    • Cleaning habits

    • Financial situation

    • Common space issues

      • Kitchen, bathroom, other common living spaces

    • Pets


What is realistic?

  • What type of space is ideal vs. what type of space is practical

    • Rent should be about 25-45% of gross income

    • What will utilities run you?

      • What is included in your rent and what is extra

    • What perks are important to you?

      • Laundry on site

      • Central air

      • Workout facilities near by

      • Location of nearest “green space”

      • Parking situation – off street parking

    • How much will transportation cost you?

      • Financially and how much actual time invested?

    • Furnished vs. unfurnished?


Checklist of factors you’ll want to consider when checking out a neighborhood:

  • Is it close to your place of employment?

  • Is the neighborhood safe?

  • Is it close to your synagogue, church, mosque, etc?

  • Is it close to stores, banks and the post office?

  • Is it close public transportation?

  • What are the parking regulations?


Other factors to consider…

  • Types of accommodations

    • Room in a private home

    • Apartment

    • Room in a group house

    • Townhouse/condo


Where do I begin?

  • Craig’s List

    • http://boston.craigslist.org/

  • Easy Roommate

    • www.easyroommate.com

  • Rent Net Online Renters Guide

    • www.rentnet.com/apartments/home.jhtml

  • Apartment Guide

    • www.apartmentguide.com

  • Roommates

    • www.roommates.com

  • Apartment Center

    • www.apartmentcenter.com

  • Apartments.com

    • www.apartments.com


Other sources…

  • Friends

  • Local and area newspapers

  • Bulletin boards

  • Signs

  • Realtors

  • Local college web sites


Viewing the space…

  • Make an appointment and arrive on time

  • Dress appropriately

  • Be persistent

  • Ask good questions and take notes

  • Carry your checkbook

  • Begin your search early


Viewing the space…

  • Take a second look at the area

    • At night, without the realtor/landlord

  • Safety features

    • Locks, windows, fire safety equipment

  • Check all major utilities/plumbing

    • Water tank, heating and ac units, light switches, outlets, appliances

  • Noise factors

    • Thickness of walls, pets or children in the building, location in relation to major roadways

  • Storage space

  • Condition of the space

    • Use your senses!


Signing your life away!

  • What is a lease?

    • A lease is a legal agreement that is a controlling document of the landlord-tenant relationship that sets forth the rights and duties of both parties.

  • Tenant with a lease

    • You and the landlord have agreed to a lease or contract that allows a certain length of occupancy at a set rent.

  • Tenant at will

    • You have consent to occupy the rental unit but do not have a lease. Renting month-to-month.


Repairs

Rental Payments

Security Deposit

“As Is” Clause

Utilities

Length

Landlord’s Access

Subletting or Assignment Clause

Rules of Behavior

Addendum

Top 10 List (Key components of a good lease)


Landlord Responsibilities

  • Provide facilities for hot water, heat, gas and electricity

  • Provide receipts for rent payments

    • Dated and signed when requested

  • Avoid interference with tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises provided the premises are used lawfully.

  • Provide smoke detectors and ensure they work properly when a new tenant moves in.

  • Provide adequate locks and keys.

  • Put security deposits in a separate bank account and promptly return the deposit, with interest, at the appropriate time.

  • Premises must have a warrant of habitability (approved for occupancy)


Tenant Responsibilities

  • Pay rent, and if required, a security deposit

  • Avoid damaging the premises

  • Maintain the premises in sanitary condition

  • Dispose of garbage properly

  • Inform the landlord of needed repairs

  • Avoid interfering with neighbors’ environment and living conditions

  • Inform the landlord, within 30 days, of your intent to move out

  • Upon moving out, restore the premises to the same condition as when you moved in, besides normal wear and tear


Apartment Condition Report

  • This is your opportunity to go through the apartment with the landlord and identify possible damages:

    • Holes in walls

    • Broken appliances

    • Fire safety equipment

    • Outlets and lights work properly

    • Carpet/flooring in good condition


Welcome to the Neighborhood…

  • Investigate the following because they are now your responsibility:

    • Trash pick-up/recycling

    • Parking (winter parking bans)

    • Post office/mail delivery

    • Utilities (telephone, cable, internet, electricity, etc.)

    • City noise ordinances


Renter’s Insurance

  • Why is renter’s insurance important?

    • Provides protection of personal property against theft, vandalism, fire, water or smoke damage

    • Often covers theft of personal property on and off the premises

    • Covers personal liability for lawsuits


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