A Checklist For What To Look For When Apartment Hunting
October 18, 2016
Searching for an apartment for rent can be incredibly daunting, especially when considering the amount of legal documents, deposits, moving fees and even the commitment alone. More often than not, people have bloated expectations and an unrealistic budget in mind before they even begin their search for apartment rentals.
Here is a checklist of all the essential things you should look for when searching for an apartment. Following this guide will help you better manage your expectations and ensure that you are completely prepared before signing an apartment rental lease.
– Check to see that there’s adequate cellphone reception.
– Test the water pressure on cold, warm and hot temperatures, and see how long it takes for the water to heat up.
– If you commute by car, drive around the neighbourhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like.
– Check to see what the local attractions are in the neighbourhood, including parks, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, nightlife, gyms and shopping.
– Research the crime level in the area.
– If you commute by public transit, find out the distance to the closest bus stop or subway station.
– Find out if the windows are double-paned/double-glazed and in good condition to avoid unusually costly heating bills. You should also check to see if the windows open and close easily.
– Ask the landlord or property manager what the average apartment rental time for units in the building is. It’s generally a bad sign if tenants don’t stay too long.
– Check to see what utilities are included, such as gas, electric, cable and water.
– Find out what amenities are included (security, pool, gym, etc.) and if the building charges an extra fee for using any of these.
– Does the building have an on-site or in-unit laundry?
– Check to see what appliances are included in the unit, including the dishwasher, garbage disposal and microwave.
– Find out which rooms have an electrical outlet and a cable hookup.
– Determine the overall noise level of your surrounding area, including sound that comes from the neighboring units, as well as outside sound. Nearby schools, hospitals and late-night bars can add significantly to the sound levels.
– Are you allowed to have pets, and if so, is there a size limit or extra fees?
– Does the building offer parking, and if so, is it included in rent?
– Is there an outdoor space (terrace, balcony, or rooftop)?
– Make sure you calculate the room dimensions using a tape measure to make sure it will fill all your current furniture.
– Is there proper storage available, including closet space and other storage?
– Find out if there has been a rent increase over the past three years.
– See how much natural light the unit gets, and which floors and rooms offer good amounts of light.
– Make sure the building has sufficient security.
– Ask the landlord if you are allowed to paint, decorate, and hang items on the walls, as well as if you need to return the unit to its original state before moving out (and if there is a penalty fee if you don’t).
– Find out what the conditions are for subleasing/breaking a lease in the event that you have to move before the lease is up.