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

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

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

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 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?

How to rent an apartment

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

Other factors to consider…

  • Types of accommodations

    • Room in a private home

    • Apartment

    • Room in a group house

    • Townhouse/condo

Where do i begin

Where do I begin?

  • Craig’s List


  • Easy Roommate


  • Rent Net Online Renters Guide


  • Apartment Guide


  • Roommates


  • Apartment Center




Other sources

Other sources…

  • Friends

  • Local and area newspapers

  • Bulletin boards

  • Signs

  • Realtors

  • Local college web sites

Viewing the space

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 space1

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

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.

Top 10 list key components of a good lease


Rental Payments

Security Deposit

“As Is” Clause



Landlord’s Access

Subletting or Assignment Clause

Rules of Behavior


Top 10 List (Key components of a good lease)

Landlord responsibilities

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

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

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

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

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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