Buying & Rental Tips

Tips for First-Time Apartment Renters Looking for Their First Place

What do you need to rent an apartment? Read on to learn the answer and more!

By: Eunice Sheene Fulgencio | March 19, 2019
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first time apartment renter

Being an adult is no walk in the park. All the bills that need to be paid, the deadlines to meet, and all the responsibilities to attend to: walking into these mature duties for the first time is a real trial by fire. Being a first-time apartment renter is certainly up there in the list of arduous adult tasks. It’s complicated, and most of the time it’s daunting, especially when you’re accustomed to just going home and never having to think of the upkeep of owning one.

If you’re one of the clueless few who want to rent your own place for the first time, you’re in luck because we got you covered. The following are some handy tips and tricks for every first-time apartment renter when renting a place for the first time.

1. Set a firm budget.

first time renter

Keep a good head on your shoulders when it comes to budgeting to prevent ever going short.

The amount you put into rent should be logical and practical; after all, it isn’t the only expense you are paying for. A good trick to master is the “50/20/30 method,” where half of your wage goes to basic necessities such as food, transportation, and rent, 20% goes to emergency savings and retirement funds, and 30% goes to your lifestyle choices or your hobbies and interests.

2. Be critical with the property.

what do you need to rent an apartment

It never hurts to take a second or even a third look when property viewing.

Everyone wants the best and selecting a place to live shouldn’t be any different. Before making any definite decisions, thoroughly inspect the property first. Look for any signs of damage, be it in the interiors or appliances, as any deterioration not reported before you moved in might become your liability once you move out. Have a checklist on hand and take pictures if you have to; having concrete proof should help you out if things between you and the property owner become awry in the future.

3. Assess your credit score.

first rent

A good credit score is something everyone should strive for.

If ever you need a bit of help in affording a place, taking a loan within your means is a good option. If you have to come to this, take a look at your credit score first to know how much you can borrow from the bank. A credit score is a three-digit number from 300 to 850; the higher the credit score, the better. If you have a high credit score, more banks will trust that you have the credibility to pay off higher loan amounts. And since you have a reputable score, you can also use your credit and ask your landlord for a one-month advance payment rather than a two-month deposit.

4. Prepare all the necessary documents.

renting a flat for the first time

Your pay slip from the months before will become important when you decide to rent a place.

Adulthood is mostly defined by the endless task of obtaining and keeping important documents to navigate real-world proceedings. Securing a home certainly involves the same effort. Basic documents you will definitely need to prepare include a copy of your latest pay slips, valid IDs, a certificate of employment, and a checking account for post-dated checks. Other documents that might be asked from you include character references, credit score, and assets.

5. Expect additional expenditures.

first time renter

The monthly rent isn’t the only payment you should consider.

Life, most especially your savings account, will be much happier if all you have to pay for is rent and nothing else. However, the harsh reality is that there are many other payments that need to be paid before you can officially become a home renter. Some of these include security deposits, advanced payments, rental insurance, and of course, the necessary home improvements before you officially move in. Practice strict budgeting and these additions won’t become a problem for you.

6. Scrutinize the lease.

what do you need to rent an apartment

Be as critical as you want before signing the rent contract.

Your lease will serve as both your ticket to safety and security blanket if ever unforeseen disputes and problems arise in the future. That is why before you sign your name in every document, make sure you have read every sentence down to the last dot. Voice out any concerns you have as early as possible so it can be talked about and edited out if need be, and do not be afraid to ask questions if ever you don’t understand anything.

7. Know your rights as a tenant…

first rent

Know your rights as a renter to prevent encountering problems in the future.

Just because you are merely renting and not owning the place doesn’t mean you do not have a say in anything. Educate yourself about your rights as a tenant to make sure you are not getting duped along the way. The Rent Control Act is considered the Bible in property rentals and can be used both by the tenant and the landlord as a reference during any settlements. The act includes regulations such as the minimum deposit amount allowed, how much the lessor can increase the rent, and even grounds for eviction, among other important bylaws.

8. ...but also know the responsibilities that come with being a renter.

renting a flat for the first time

Be respectful to the place rented out to you as well as to the person that owns it.

Being “woke” to your privileges as a renter is fine and all: but make sure to not lapse on your duties as one as well. Since it technically isn’t your property no matter how much you’re paying for it every month, respect is a must first and foremost. Take care of the area and treat it as your own and prevent damaging anything. Also avoid violating the lease and letting anyone sublet the place if it’s not allowed or before informing the landlord. Just like you have every right to leave, the lessor also has the right to evict you if ever you become a nuisance.

9. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood.

first time apartment renter

You should be as critical in selecting the neighborhood as you are in selecting the property.

Perhaps a factor just as important as the place you will rent is the neighborhood around it. Your safety, comfort, and overall living satisfaction will largely depend on the places you’re near to and the people who frequent the area. Try to go around the neighborhood once during the day and during the evening to check out the activities in the area. You can also research on the area’s crime rate. The Internet, and all the reviews, relevant news, and photos it provides, should be your trusty ally in this task.

Visit Yoorekka to get more practical tips and to learn more about the ins and outs in real estate.

10. Know your neighbors better.

first time renter

Be pleasant yet professional when introducing yourself to your neighbors.

One great way to learn about the neighborhood you will be living in? Simply talk to the people who have been there before you. Getting acquainted with your neighbors makes it easier not only when you need help in case of emergencies but also when you need to raise concerns, like excessive noise and safety matters.

Being a first-time renter can prove to be a daunting challenge especially if you have no idea with what you’re doing. Fortunately, these ten tips can help you get through one of the most demanding task in the world of adulthood.
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About Eunice Sheene Fulgencio
Eunice knew that she’d be writing for the rest of her life from a very young age. Naturally introverted, she is selective with how she uses her time and who she spends it with. Has a penchant for sweet treats, sentimental proses, and online personality quizzes. A true-blue INFJ.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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