A Guide to Using Apartment Rental Agencies

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A Guide to Using Apartment Rental Agencies

Staff Writer · Aug 27, 2009

If you’re new to the area, and want to make the most informed decision about where you should move, apartment rental agencies are almost always worthwhile. You pay a fee for the service, but a local agency will provide you with a summary of virtually every community in the area. Usually, in a very easy to read script which will allow you to sit on the couch one evening and single out the top ten rentals that fit your budget and living requirement, rather than spending day after day driving to and from every community you can find.

Is It Worth The Cost?

The cost of gas to drive around searching will most likely be well above the cost you’d spend on apartment locator’s. Most agencies are constantly updating their data (even 3-4 times per year ), so that when you show up to rent, it is just as you have read in the listing. So, make a point to ask your agency how often they do update material.

What’s Included?

Your rental guide should very well include directions, school district information, pricing, utility information, community amenities, parking, A/C, appliances, pets, proximity to shopping and transportation, and tips on various floor plans. As well as, details like whether units have vaulted ceilings or walk in closets. Some agencies will detail every aspect of the community, giving you a very good insight into the apartment you may have chosen before you even pick up the telephone.

Are Agencies Biased?

These agencies are always a neutral player in the leasing game. Apartment communities compensate rental agencies for every rental lease, irrespective of where you lease. All the agency would like is for you to rent from any of their clients, so typically you will find a staff that is not going to push one community on you more than another. And, since there is typically no cost to the apartment community to be included in the rental agencies portfolio, nearly every complex in the area includes themselves in such a service.

Is the Information Accurate?

Rental agencies can help to keep apartment complexes honest as well. Though they may not assist you with negotiating your rental lease rate, they most certainly will contact a manager if they have given bogus or misleading information for them to advertise and upset their own clientele. Many agencies will also offer a roommate service, allowing you to find like-minded individuals who list their budget, area, and personal information. And, this can be a useful tool in leasing should you find your budget stretched thin or have your own roommate happen to fall out just days before you are to move into your new place.

If your apartment search allows the time and patience to comb through your local community to find your new home, this is certainly the most economical route. But, should you be new to the area, or live in a large city with hundreds of rental communities in sight, then having the convenience of a rental agency doing all of the leg work for you may allow you to spend less of your valuable time on moving, and much more of your time on living in your new spot.

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