5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your First Apartment

Share:

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your First Apartment

Megan Foukes · Jul 28, 2022
Young woman smiles and holds up the keys to her first apartment.

Renting your first apartment is exciting. It’s your own space, and you can make it feel like home. You can decorate each room, bring in your own household items, and even bring in a pet to keep you company. But renting also comes with certain rules and regulations you must follow. If you don’t, you could end up dealing with a lot of unnecessary financial and emotional stress.

If you’re looking to make the transition into your first apartment as smooth as possible, it’s important to avoid these 5 common mistakes that new renters often find themselves making:

Not Reading the Lease Agreement

Before you sign anything, you need to carefully read over the terms of your lease. Your lease contains important information regarding what is and isn’t allowed as a renter, rent amount and the payment process, any recurring or late fees, and the length of your lease. If your landlord’s really nice, they’ll also include a list of the amenities in your unit and specific cleaning and care tips for appliances and furniture, if applicable. Knowing what you can and can’t do, and knowing proper renters’ etiquette and care, will help make the transition into your first place a lot easier. 

Not Exploring the Surrounding Area

Young woman explores a part of town she's considering moving to.

It’s also important to check out the area around the apartment building. You need to make sure that the neighborhood fits with your lifestyle, work, and social needs. If you’re unfamiliar with the area prior to moving, you also need to check out the crime rate in the area. Pictures can be deceiving, so it’s always best to visit in person to see if you would really be happy living there. If you feel uncomfortable at any moment while visiting the surrounding neighborhood, you may want to consider moving to a different building. Safety should be a top priority. Don’t cut any corners if you feel unsafe.

Not Going on an Apartment Tour

In addition to visiting the surrounding area, it’s important to schedule an in-person apartment tour. After all, you may be living in one of these units pretty soon! Ask plenty of questions while you’re on the tour, look at each room, and imagine your furniture and items in the space. Take a look at storage options, too. Storage is one of the most sought after things in apartments, and if you feel there isn’t enough room for your stuff, ask about renting garages or additional storage while on the tour. The more questions you ask, the better!

Sneaking In Pets

Man moves into an apartment with his cat and dog.

Having a furry friend as a roommate can make your first apartment even better, but each apartment community has different rules and regulations on having a pet. Some are less restrictive and allow you to have almost any type of pet regardless of weight or breed, but others have a strict no-pet policy. It’s important you ask about pets and the fees before moving in if you either have a pet or plan on getting one in the near future. You may think it’s easy to avoid your landlord and hide the fact that you have a pet, but trying to sneak one in could get you into legal trouble. Your landlord may even tack on fees or try to evict you for breaking the terms of your lease.

Not Thoroughly Checking Out the Apartment During Move-in

When you finally move in, take the time to go around the apartment and record any damage of property. It’s crucial not to skip this step, and do it before you move any furniture in, if possible. You need to write down anything that is broken, and describe the extent of the damage. When you hand it in to your landlord, make sure to point out if something is in need of fixing soon.

Tip: Take pictures with your phone as you go. Doing this helps you remember what types of damage you see so you can recall them in the written report. This is also good for your own records. The majority of smartphones have timestamps on pictures you take, so if your landlord or maintenance ever needs proof of damages, you can easily pull up the timestamps.

Ready to Move Into Your First Apartment?

Young woman excitedly unpacks boxes as she settles into her first apartment.

It can be overwhelming getting ready to move — especially if this is going to be your first-ever apartment. Don’t rush into anything and plan carefully. Set a timeline for when you want to tour the apartment and visit the surrounding area first. If you like everything and feel like you want to live there, read over the lease’s terms and conditions before signing, and ask the landlord any and all questions you have. From there, you can get ready to move your stuff in, and to start enjoying a brand new home.

You might also like:

Renting an apartment involves more than just signing a lease and paying rent. It’s also about establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord or property manager. Here are some key points to consider: Effective Communication: Building a good rapport with your community management starts with clear and open communication. Establishing a positive relationship […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jun 26, 2024

|
image

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jun 26, 2024

|
image

As the summer heat intensifies, it’s crucial for apartment residents to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and comfort. Here are some essential tips to help you stay cool and safe during the hot summer months. 1. Keep Your Apartment Cool 2. Stay Hydrated and Sun Protected 3. Protect Against Heat-Related Illnesses 4. Prepare […]

Jessica Lee

 · May 30, 2024

|
image