Do you rent your living space? You’re not alone. Recent surveys have put renters at around 35% of the population. With all the requirements for closing on a home and the ongoing upkeep, for many folks it makes smart financial sense to stay as a renter. This is especially true for the legion of young single folks who make up the bulk of the renting population. One thing is for sure with most apartment renters, they often make a few moves before settling into that perfect location. If you’re getting ready to dive into the apartment rental game, then you should avoid the following “red flag” situations:
1. A Work In Progress
As you tour a new apartment, you might be treated to a fresh coat of paint on the walls and newly installed carpets. Perfect. Sign the lease. However, there are those spaces that are in the midst of a major remodel. As tempting as it might be to score a place with a new kitchen or bathroom, you have to be assured that the place will be ready when you take occupancy. One sure sign of trouble is checking out that place and seeing the work in progress but no workers. Does that mean you’ll have to share the space with a construction crew?
2. Lousy Curb Appeal
Whenever checking out a new apartment, look closer. Don’t just do your indoor walk through but also check out the entire building from the front lawn to the laundry room. If you see weeds, cracks, dirt and other lousy curb appeal maintenance, then you have to wonder what else the landlord is hiding. After all, if they can’t keep things spruced up for a new tenant how can to expect them to handle your leaky faucet?
3. Pressure to Sign the Lease
You should absolutely have a lease for your new apartment. However, this should be a lease you’ve had a least a day to review. Although the landlord might tell you that there are all kinds of people waiting to rent the place, that doesn’t mean you should automatically fork over a deposit and sign the lease without reading the fine print. At the very least, ask to walk around the corner for a cup of coffee and chance to look over lease. One hour shouldn’t make a difference.
4. Unsafe Conditions
A missing fire extinguisher in the hallway. Windows painted shut or with security gates you can’t open. No smoke alarms. These are the kind of unsafe conditions that should make you extremely leery about renting a particular apartment. Once you take over that space, you could be on your own for a lot of things but safety shouldn’t be one of them.
5. Creepy Landlord
Okay, it might not be fair to call a landlord you hardly know “creepy” but you are entering into what could become a long-term relationship with this person. You want to feel comfortable dealing with them. If they’re hard to get a hold on the phone or have trouble communicating, then it could be a problem down the line. Maybe you can forgive a lot if the place is amazing and the rent is great. Just know you’ve been warned!
Have you ever turned down an apartment because of these red flags?