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7 Key Considerations To Finding A Rental Apartment

May 17, 2008
Finding an apartment, especially in a "landlord's market" can be tough. With rental units being converted into condos and vacancy rates at all-time lows, it can be rough locating an apartment unit that fits your budget and your needs. Before you start the search for the perfect apartment, keep reading for a valuable list of factors to consider.

Location, Location

Whether you want to be right in the heart of the city, a more suburban area or rural location that offers space and affordability is going to be your first major decision.

While city living provides shorter commute times and city amenities to those who are employed closer to downtown, properties that are off-the-beaten path tend to cost less and offer more in terms of parking and space.

If you enjoy the hustle and action of city life where you work but prefer the solace of disconnecting from people afterward, you will certainly want to weigh all the personal pros and cons of urban vs. suburban life.


Ideally, you don't want your rent to exceed a third of your monthly income. If you're saving for a down payment on a home or different investment, you should cut that figure down to a quarter of your monthly salary. As mentioned above, given the benefit of proximity to many amenities, appealing urban apartments are simply going to cost more.


Depending on the size of your family, roommates and the quantity of your belongings, you'll need to decide how much space you need. Today, many couples are opting for rental properties with a second bedroom or den that can serve as an office or guest room space. Of course if you have children, the apartment must first permit them. And then additional space becomes a prime consideration.


If you have a vehicle, parking is a concern. Before you sign a lease on that downtown loft, make sure there's somewhere you can park your car, even if there is a monthly fee for it.


Depending on the tenancy laws in your area, landlords can deny apartments to tenants with pets or put restrictions on the type of animals allowed in the apartment. Also, you may be required to pay an additional deposit if you plan to share your rental apartment with an animal companion. Pets pose sanitation and noise risks that landlords must take into account.


An apartment can seem great, the perfect location, the right price and all the amenities you need, but if the landlord is difficult to deal with, you could quickly find yourself living in a nightmare. Remember, over the length of your lease, you'll need to deal with your landlord on a regular basis - from paying rent to calling about repairs, they're going to be your point person and main contact.

You wouldn't enter into an investment business partnership with someone you didn't like, so why would you for your home? If have a bad feeling about a potential landlord, walk away.


Laundry, appliances and utilities are all perks and sometimes necessities for apartments. Remember, that fifth floor walk-up apartment ten blocks from the nearest laundromat might not seem so charming when you're lugging two loads of laundry down the street.
About the Author
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