Things You Should Know Before Renting an Apartment


If you’re ready to rent an apartment with your newly approved Section 8 vouchers, here are some things you must consider beforehand. You don’t want to find yourself moving into a new space and figuring out that it wasn’t really the ideal home you were looking for. Don’t let yourself get tied down to a crummy apartment before it’s too late.

Can you honestly afford it?

One rule of thumb when it comes to picking a place to live in is, first, determining how much is the monthly rent and how much do you make per year. If your annual salary is at least 40 times the amount you have to pay per month, then you probably can afford it. If not, then maybe it’s a good idea to choose a different home.

Can you decorate it without penalties?

Some landlords don’t allow tenants to redecorate their living spaces. Make sure that your potential landlord is fine with you changing the wallpapers, hanging pictures on the walls, or painting the kitchen in a certain color. You don’t want to risk losing your security deposit because you didn’t ask when you first moved in.

Are pets allowed?

No one wants to give up their best friend all because of a fancy, new apartment. Putting your pet up for adoption isn’t always good for them, and neither it is for you. Imagine how much you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Which utilities are included?

Utilities such as gas and electricity, water, trash disposal, and internet are included in the rent, and sometimes not. Also, another important question to ask is if maintenance for these utilities (like plumbers, or repairpersons) are included as well.

What are the particular penalties I should be aware of?

Some renters will penalize you for breaking the lease. Be sure to ask what the penalties are, if any, if you decide to move out early.

Will I get to sign a contract?

Whatever the agreement between you and your landlord, you absolutely must ask for a written contract that you both can sign. Never settle for verbal agreements no matter what! It’s always a good idea to have everything written down and signed on paper just in case you come to a disagreement with your landlord.