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Apartment Checklist: Tips for Renters

William Paid March 11, 2013 Renter Resources No Comments
Apartment Checklist: Tips for Renters

When it comes to renting an apartment, there are so many factors to consider. As a first-time renter in college, I was overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities that came along with renting. I didn’t know what a security deposit was let alone how to build credit history. I even painted every wall in my first apartment. Little did I know, my landlord did not allow painting. Guess I should have read the lease more thoroughly!

So you don’t end up breaking the rules of your lease like I did, I’ve compiled a checklist of tips for renters that I wished I had when I was a first-time renter. If you have a handle on most of the things on this list, I’d say you’re good to go. If not, start reading!

  1. Give a spare key to a neighbor or friend who lives close by
  2. Make sure there’s a fire extinguisher nearby (either in your apartment or in the hallway)
  3. Make sure all doors have deadbolts (sliding doors can easily be broken into if there’s no deadbolt)
  4. Shut off all lights/unplug appliances to save electricity when you’re out of the apartment.
  5. Keep your landlord and/or maintenance man’s phone number written down in case of an emergency or for repairs.
  6. Make sure the apartment is equipped with smoke detectors. If not, have your landlord install one.
  7. Don’t paint unless you have approval from your landlord.
  8. Develop a budget. Figure out how much you are spending on rent, utilities, food, etc. and make a budget that you can stick to.
  9. Get to know your neighbors in case you ever need them to check on your apartment while you’re away. Always good to make friends with those you live by so they can keep an eye on your place!
  10. Know where the fuse box is in case the power goes out unexpectedly.
  11. Know your rights as a renter, including security deposit fees, maintenance and repair issues, eviction rules, and apartment conditions in compliance with housing and health codes.
  12. Keep cleaning supplies on hand. No one wants a messy apartment!
  13. Purchase renter’s insurance to protect your apartment from theft and damage
  14. Respect your roommate’s space and make sure they do the same. There’s nothing worse than a hostile living situation!
  15. Keep a calendar of when your apartment utilities are due so that you pay them on time.
  16. If you have a car, talk to your landlord about parking options (i.e. garage space, street parking, parking lots, etc.)
  17. Know the terms of your lease. Read through your lease before signing so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
  18. Keep your lease handy to refer back to.
  19. Pay rent online so that you never have a late rent payment



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About The Author

My name is William Paid, Esquire and I’m a serial personal butler with 40 years distinguished service, orchestrating exceptional living experiences for exiled kings, rockstars, supermodels, and even a few “young gun” Internet executives who are now woefully overleveraged and unable to employ my services. My role is to ensure everything runs smoothly for renters and roommates. I’m at YOUR service.