Published byBranden Whitehead Modified over 7 years ago
What you need to know before you rent your first place!
Renting an Apartment What you need to know before you rent your first place!
Why rent? Most people rent during college & in early adulthood
Lease for 1 year = more mobility than buying a place & settling down Do not need as much money or credit history as you do when purchasing a home
Advantages of Renting Unsure of long-term housing needs
Limited resources for down payment No maintenance required! More money for entertainment or savings! Wide variety of amenities as part of lease.
Disadvantages of Renting
Lack of control over property No painting walls, making improvements, etc. Lack of privacy Roommates People living above/below/next to you Landlord may not respond quickly to maintenance issues. Restrictions: Can’t redecorate Limit to number of people allowed in apartment (overnight guests) No pets/children Do not build equity No tax benefit
What’s a Lease? A contract between a landlord and a tenant.
Designed to protect both your rights as a tenant and the owner’s rights as a landlord. The tenant agrees to pay the landlord for use of the apartment for an amount of time agreed upon in the lease terms.
Important Items in your lease
Amount of rent – exact amount and how and when to be paid Any information about late fees Any additional fees – charges in addition to monthly rent Security deposit – money landlord can use for cleaning and repairs once you move out. Lease start and end date – shows the duration of your lease. Month to month – lease should indicate when lease begins and how much notice you must give before terminating the agreement. Utilities included – may or may not include heat, electricity, TV/cable, internet, sewer, water, trash Additional Terms – Pets, guests, & children policies; parking
Your Needs & Wants An apartment, a house, or a rented room?
How much space do you need? Do you want a yard? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Consider roommates Near a bus route or close to a college campus? Specifics Upstairs or downstairs? Furnished or unfurnished? Pets allowed? What amenities? Appliances - dishwasher, central heat and air, microwave, washer and dryer? Pool? Parking included? If not, how much?
Application Process Find an apartment Application fees $$
Newspapers Online Application fees $$ Interview / Walk-through Meet landlord – good person? Trustworthy? See apartment In good condition? Have amenities you want? See neighborhood Dangerous? Public transit? Restaurants & entertainment nearby? Near school? Ask the landlord questions Ask the other tenants questions
Housing Costs A general rule is households should spend approximately 30% or less of their net income on housing If you work $8.00 per hour full time (40 hours/week) you will make $320 per week, or $1280 per month, which will leave you with about $960 net you should spend no more than $316 per month on rent The average rent in Hackettstown is $870 for a 1-BR apartment! Odds are you’ll need a roommate until you have a career Security Deposit = money paid in advance of moving into a living space to the landlord to be used for repairs of damages that are beyond normal wear and tear Returned to you when you move out if nothing’s broken & everything is clean Other costs to consider Utilities – may or may not be included in rent Electricity Water Heat Cable/TV Internet Telephone Sewer Trash Renters Insurance – required by some apartment complexes Parking – may or may not be included in rent
Roommate ? Will you have a roommate? Will you each have your own room?
More than one? Will you each have your own room? It’s common in college to share rooms What happens if you don’t like living together? Who is responsible for paying the rent? Split? Who sends the check? Other utilities? Groceries? Where are you going to live? Who’s bringing what? Couch, TV, microwave, vacuum, plates, pots & pans, etc.
YOUR ROOMMATE QUESTIONS
Are you neat or messy? Do you pay bills on time? How late or early do you go to bed? Do you have a pet? Can you agree on visits from friends, study hours, grocery shopping, etc? What else would you ask?? Meet in a public place and interview possible roommates. You and your roommate should be well-matched. Use a roommate contract.
Time to Move In Do a walk-through with the landlord.
Is it clean? Is anything broken? Do the locks work? Write down problems and give to landlord. Date and sign. (keep a copy) Take dated pictures of each room before you move in and before you move out. You can use this to dispute claims with your security deposit
Your Place Keep your home clean and in good condition.
Pay your rent by on time. Don’t allow other people to live there if their name is not on the lease. The lease is a legal document. By signing it, you agree to obey its rules. Be sure to keep a copy.
YOUR POSSESSIONS RENTER’S INSURANCE protects your personal belongings.
Contact a local insurance agency.
Time to Move Out Consult your lease and give required notice.
Leave the property in the same or better condition as when you moved in. Do a walk-through with your landlord to check for any damages. Use the dated photos you took when moving in as documentation.
Class Work – Find an Apartment Project
Find a place to live! Answer all questions in complete sentences Add pictures!
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