Apartment hunting shouldn’t be painful. With that in mind, we at Advent have pulled together a few under-the-radar suggestions to make the process go that much more smoothly:
- Maintain good communication with leasing agents. This is a critical part of working together as a team, keeping everyone updated, and ensuring everyone is on the same page during the leasing process.
- Read. Don’t simply skim the rental ad or lease agreement – it contains information that will affect you in the future. Instead, do your due diligence in making sure that the unit provides exactly what you’re seeking, whether that’s laundry facilities or a pet-friendly policy. Once you sign the lease, make sure to read all the details, including those on utilities and addendums.
- Know your Fair Housing laws. Understand that these hold all real estate services to a strict policy so that everyone is treated equitably.
- Take pictures to jog your memory. There may be details you will either miss or forget. Pictures help.
- Measure the unit if you’re seriously considering it. That way you’ll know for sure whether your favorite velour couch will fit through the door.
- Don’t hesitate if you want to apply. Rental applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis – but remember to physically tour the unit before starting the process.
- Check for cellular service. This is an overlooked but important item. Do you really want to pace around your apartment dropping calls every five minutes?
- Price and location are your two major factors when it comes to narrowing the search. These are biggies. If you don’t know that, you should.
- As you’re narrowing your search, also consider the management company or owner as well as specific amenities you’re seeking. Be realistic. Sunken fire pits and concierge service aren’t guaranteed, but if you look carefully, you’ll get what you need.
- Pay attention to fees. They’re not just put in the lease for kicks. You’ll have to pay them.
- Understand community rules and lease-termination policies. This can save a lot of heartache, conflict, and possible court fees down the road.
- If you may consider subletting in the future, make sure you can do it. See above. This too will save you some heartache and a possible conflict with your landlord or management company.
- Finally, check your unit for pre-existing damage when you move in. You’ll have to sign off on the move-in condition. Be sure you understand what it is so that you won’t wind up paying for someone else’s damages down the road.
1600 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94602
Tel - +510.250.7918
Fax - +800.507.6593
150 Post Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel - +415.347.5658
Fax - +800.507.6593