Truth be told, moving into your very first apartment is a big milestone. It simply means independence, both psychologically and financially. Moreover, it is an opportunity to shop for brand new home décor! However, before taking the leap and signing your maiden first apartment lease, it is crucial to protect your interests and also present the strongest points or case to your prospective landlord.
To do this, follow the following steps:
Have as much paperwork as possible
Of great importance to know is that landlords always want to see proof that you are and will be a responsible tenant. In some cities, particularly those facing stiff competition for real estate, rental requirements are stricter. Contrary to what you experienced in college, your prospective landlord will need you to meet stringent financial criteria. Have the following documents before putting your pen to paper:
- Letter of employment
- Your most recent tax return
- Photo ID
- Two recent pay stubs
- A reference letter from your previous landlord
Check and correct all errors present in your credit card report
In addition to the above essential information, your landlord might verify your credit to ascertain your reliability. Credit reports usually include account information and payment history relating to your student loans, auto loans, and credit cards. The landlord can use the report plus your accompanying credit score to judge whether you are someone trustworthy to pay your rent in time. Get your free credit report today, before you start searching for apartments.
Prepare for an extra move-in cost (s)
To effectively secure your apartment, you shall first need to pay the first months’ rent combined with a refundable security deposit. In some cities – where brokers help landlords and tenants – you have to part with a broker’s fee as an additional cost. Therefore, before you sign your lease agreement, you should confirm that you have all the needed cash in your checking account.
Conduct a walk-through of the apartment with your landlord
Take your time to inspect your prospective apartment with your landlord. Note down anything and everything that needs fixing. Do this especially before paying your security deposit. Most tenants often overlook this very important step. In the end, they are on the hook for all the apartment repairs whenever their lease comes to an end.
Thoroughly pass through the print
Do not be tempted to check as the big or full picture of exactly what you are getting yourself into. Go home with your lease and read it carefully. Make sure you clearly understand all the terms and conditions contained therein. Be aware of every utility that you shall be required to cover monthly. Ensure that your name appearing on the lease is correctly spelt. Moreover, make sure that the security deposit and rent are what you agreed with during the signing of the lease agreement. Finally, verify that the lease term is correct.
Morgan Kims is a writer for a leading online financial publication. She is adequately informed about finances. http://www.leasequit.com/ is a good resource for anyone looking for information about quitting their lease.