Comparing Large and Small Apartment Complexes

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Comparing Large and Small Apartment Complexes

Staff Writer · May 7, 2010

As you search for a place to rent, you might find yourself choosing between large apartment complexes and smaller ones. Renting in a large apartment community can be challenging to both first-time renters and veterans. However, the amenities, bedroom options and property management are what you might be looking for.

Large Apartment Complexes – Safety Issues

These are large because they house more people. The more strangers you have living around you, the higher the risk of theft and other criminal activities. That’s not to say that something will happen to you, but there is an increased risk. At the same time, landlords and property management might go out of their way to ensure tenant safety because they’re aware of the risks. Safety measures might include:

  • Security cameras
  • Front gates
  • Extensive screening process for rent applications
  • Criminal background checks

When looking for a rental located in the apartment complex, learn as much about the methods of providing security to tenants as possible. Some will be obvious, like the presence of a front gate. However, you might need to ask the property manager directly as to whether they run background checks.

Smaller Apartment Complexes – Safety Issues

You might find the opposite problem with a smaller apartment complex. The landlord may not have the resources, such as staff to run background checks on everyone or pay for security cameras. Even though the risk for criminal activities might be less, you still need security to keep you safe. You may not need a gate to the complex, but the landlord should take safety precautions, such as conducting background checks at the very least. Each apartment should also have:

  • Dead bolts on doors
  • Well lit walkways at night
  • Reasonable hours when the common laundry room is closed during evenings

Smaller apartment complexes also offer better opportunities to get to know all your neighbors. You may have to be the one to initiate conversation and introduce yourself, but it can work to your benefit in the long run.

Larger Apartment Complexes – Social Networking

If you work or attend school and that takes up much of your time, you might appreciate large apartment complexes for the social networking and events. With so many renters, property managers make a point to plan socials once a month or quarter to get tenants to interact with one another. Larger apartment complexes often have the budget to do that. Typical social networking events include:

  • Cookouts
  • Ice cream socials
  • Monthly children’s birthday parties
  • Family movie nights

These are often free to residents and guests are welcome. Attending these functions is a good way to save money and meet people at the same time.

Smaller Apartment Complexes – Social Networking

You may have to initiate your own event or rely on another tenant to take the initiative when you live in smaller apartment complexes. That might be right up your alley if you enjoy event planning or practicing hospitality. If you prefer to avoid crowded functions and just get to know your neighbors one on one, you won’t miss out on the social networking opportunities that larger apartment complexes have to offer. You can plan small activities or invite tenants over for dinner.

There are pluses and minuses to larger and smaller apartment complexes, and you’ll probably love one and stay clear of the other.

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