Things Every Renter Should Know

Renting is risky but being unprepared is even worse. Check out these helpful tips that will make you a successful renter.

Last year, I rented my first apartment in my dream city. What I didn’t realize is all the strings that are attached to renting your first apartment. Here’s a list of what to expect and what to prepare.

Noisy neighbors are inevitable

No matter where you move, you will be able to hear your neighbors at one point or another. The solution: earplugs and deep breaths.

You will find things that you didn’t notice in your walk-through

Was that carpet stain always there? What about that crack in the wall? The best way to deal with this is to take pictures/videos on your move-in day. This will save you when it’s time to decide if you’ll get your security deposit back!

Your appliances will break

Despite your best efforts and generally through no fault of your own, your appliances will break. As a renter, it’s your responsibility to tell your landlord to get it fixed. As a landlord, it is their responsibility to fix it. Don’t be scared that your rent will change, appliances wear over time and will break no matter how well you take care of it.

You need renters insurance

Your landlord doesn’t provide you with renters insurance. It’s your responsibility to get it on your own. Employers will generally offer it, but you’ll need to speak to your HR representative. The insurance is a MUST because it will protect your stuff from all kinds of damage (floods, fires, earthquakes etc.) It will also protect you if someone gets injured in your apartment and tries to sue (worst case scenario, I know, but it’s time to start thinking!)

It will take time to adjust to your building norms

In my building whenever a package is delivered, a neighbor will put it in the foyer and away from the door where someone could steal it (even the large and heavy packages). Now I regularly volunteer for this practice because I certainly don’t want my packages getting stolen, and it’s just the neighborly thing to do. Remember to be courteous of the people in your building offer to help them–they know where you live!

Actually read your lease

This will save you so much headache when it comes time to get your security deposit back. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and how to get yourself out. Life happens and plans change, so make sure you know how to cancel your lease early if you have to move quickly. Follow the procedures lined up in the lease and stick to them.

After moving, some states only give you 30 days to change your driver’s license

When you sign a lease, you become responsible for all of your address changes. Make sure you look up the laws in your state and head over to the DMV before it’s too late and you have to pay a fine!

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