It’s easy to get caught up in wants when searching for an apartment. However, there are other things to keep in mind that are quickly forgotten when “the perfect apartment” presents itself. Even seasoned renters miss things when rummaging through apartments, or fail to prepare for the unexpected. Consider these three matters when searching for future rentals.
It’s awful to discover on moving day that what was perceived as “the perfect apartment” is in fact infested. Mice, rats, cockroaches, bed bugs – none are pleasant. While it’s common to see a mouse from time to time during the winter months, especially in older homes, infestation is a whole other ballgame. To know what to look for and how to identify an infestation, be sure to read up on common pests. In addition, these pests do not discriminate: they can be found everywhere from run-down houses to upscale condos.
What can be done? Pull out the fridge and stove to look for dead bugs or feces. Check out the cupboards. Look at the baseboards. If this issue is of great concern, consider having an exterminator come to the apartment prior to signing the lease to inspect the premises. It might seem like an unnecessary expense to have an apartment inspected, but consider the costs and inconvenience of having to face and deal with unwanted guests. If the rental is in a building, the cleanliness of the floors, the stairwell and the lobby are also a good indication of how well the property is maintained (and how quickly and efficiently the superintendent is likely to deal with an infestation if one is to arise in the future.)
Many renters have faced months with faulty ovens or dryers. The appliances don’t have to be brand new, of course, but they do have to be clean and in working order. Open the fridge and freezer to check out both the amount of space and to see how cold they get. Try preheating the oven and turning on all the burners to see if they work as well. Do the same for the washer, dryer and dishwasher, if the apartment has them. If unsatisfied, ask to have the problem addressed and written into the lease agreement so that it will have been remedied by moving day. Be polite and reasonable, but be sure to let your landlord know that you will not tolerate sub-standard practices.
Try out all the faucets both on cold and hot to know what to expect prior to moving in. Flush all of the toilets. Water (and access to it) is a basic essential; a tenant should be able to brush their teeth or wash their dishes. However, many a tenant has had to face a poor working faucet or faulty plumbing. If the apartment or building is older, inquire as to when the plumbing was last replaced. If renting a basement apartment, ask about flooding.
Water filtration is another important thing to look out for. We suggest utilizing a solid review site such as Barix to determine which kind of water purifier meets your needs the most.
Remember: there are many things that go into a fabulous rental. Be sure to outline what is truly important. Identify needs (proper ventilation) from wants (a fireplace.) If unsure, ask to check a place out for a second time, and bring an objective and more experienced eye along to weigh-in on the decision.