Finding the right apartment or house is a challenge in and of itself, and the uncertainty that surrounds the seemingly complicated process of actually renting a property makes many potential renters nervous. Knowing what you can expect from the rental process and being prepared for what it entails can help both ease your concerns and increase your chances of getting the apartment you want. To help you navigate this sometimes complicated process we’ve put together an apartment renting checklist. While this checklist is not entirely comprehensive, it will cover the majority of most rental processes you are likely to encounter. Remember that some landlords will have different requirements for their tenants and different requests from their applicants. Brush up on your tenant rights and familiarize yourself on your local market to ensure you are getting a fair deal before signing the lease.
- Fill Out A Rental Application – Once you’ve found an apartment you are interested in renting, you will need to fill out a rental application and pay an application fee. After you submit your application the landlord may run credit and background checks.
- Prove That You Can Pay – Your landlord will likely request proof of employment and/or income. Some landlords may also require a co-signer in certain situations.
- Provide References – References are not always required, but are often nice to have. If you have references from previous landlords, consider providing them to your potential new landlord.
- Request A Walkthrough – Do a walkthrough of the apartment with the landlord, and use the opportunity to note any issues with the apartment. Make the landlord aware of them before you move in to ensure that you won’t be on the hook for them in the future.
- Sign The Lease – Once everything is in order and the apartment is ready to move into, you can proceed with signing the lease.
- Inspect Before You Move In – Before moving in, do your own walkthrough of the apartment. Record and photograph the empty rooms, focusing on any problems in particular. This is your personal insurance to make sure you get your deposit back in full.
- Transfer Utilities – Check with the utility companies and schedule any necessary appointments as soon as you know your move-in date. The last thing you want is to move into an apartment with no running water and no power.
- Move In – That’s it, you’re ready to move. Find the right moving company, pack your belongings, and move in!