Before you sign that lease, make sure that you know these things first:
1. Narrow your search by price and location – According to Doug Culkin, President and CEO of the National Apartment Association, those are the two biggest factors you should consider when selecting an apartment.
We’d all love to live in an apartment straight out of Friends, but I’m going to drop a truth bomb: Monica and Rachel never could have afforded their place in Greenwich Village. If you settle on a place that’s above your means and fall behind on rent payments, pulling a Ross and claiming you were “on a break” isn’t going to fly with your apartment owner. Choose wisely. Source: Hufftington Post
2. Your rent may cover more (or less) than you think – A perk of renting: Some management companies include basics like utilities, hot water, gas and parking in the monthly rent, so you only have one bill to remember to pay each month. Even better, some rentals offer amenities like public transportation, parking, on-site gyms and cable. Just keep in mind that some of these extras might come with limitations (for example, you may not be able to upgrade to a premium cable package if your management company provides satellite TV for all units instead). Don’t assume anything’s included in your rent — some landlords require tenants to set up and pay for all these things on their own. Before signing a lease, ask your landlord or management company exactly what is — and isn’t — included in the monthly rent rate, so you’re clear about how moving there will affect your monthly budget and lifestyle. Source: The Nest
3. Get everything in writing – Sometimes the lease isn’t detailed enough, which could spell trouble if expectations aren’t discussed and spelled out beforehand.
If you do discuss expectations with a prospective landlord, “get all promises in writing,” says Melisa Alaba, a speaker and life coach based in Bolingbrook, Illinois. “I have been duped by landlords stating they were going to take care of an issue after I moved in, and then later forgetting about it or fixing the issue months later.” Source: U.S. Money