Apartment Search Tips: Viewing an Apartment

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Apartment Search Tips: Viewing an Apartment

Staff Writer · Jul 16, 2009

When doing your apartment search, you should prepare yourself for the meeting with the landlord or rental office by having the right documentation and knowing the right questions to ask.

Information Required to Obtain an Apartment

There is some basic information that landlords will require from you in order to begin the application process. Many will want to conduct a credit check and references check, so there will be a requirement of several documents in order for them to do this. Some things that you will have to bring are:

  • Identification
  • Social Security Card
  • References
  • Pay Stubs

Not all landlords or apartment managers will require everything, but it’s good to have them on hand in case they do. This will prevent an additional trip to the office.

Apartment’s Condition Reflects Management’s Responsiveness

It’s best to visit potential apartment during the day, in order to see how much natural light the apartment has access to. Many people don’t realize it, but when you are looking at apartments in natural lighting, you are better able to see what kind of condition the space is actually in. If an apartment is not in very good shape when you are looking at it, chances are it won’t be much better at any other time. This can also be your first clue as to how management responds to any issues that arise in the way of maintenance.

Take your time walking through any apartment that you might be serious about renting. This is probably the best time to ask about the repairs process and maintenance issues. If it’s a place that you definitely decide to rent, then you are going to want to note any issues, damages and any other problems on the lease before it is signed. If the landlord doesn’t want to do that, there’s your second clue about how management might respond when issues arise.

Ask Specific Questions and Test Faucets and Furnaces

There are certain things you are going to want to check or ask specific questions about:

  • Water Pressure – Don’t be afraid to turn on the faucets. Poor water pressure can be a sign of plumbing issues.
  • Water heater – If the apartment building is large, and the hot water heater can’t keep up, you may end up having to take cold showers.
  • Furnace – The age of the furnace could possibly clue you in early to possible heating issues.

Will Your Furniture Fit

If you’ve already got furniture, you will want to make sure that your largest pieces are going to fit through the doors. With newer buildings, this is generally not an issue, but there are still some older buildings around that have smaller door frames and you just might find yourself in a position where you are unable to get something into the apartment.

The bottom line is that you want to visit as many apartments as possible to be sure you are getting exactly what you want. The worst thing you can do is to sign a year lease on a place that leaves you taking cold showers and leaving you freezing in the winter time!

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