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Your First Rental Experience

Renting an Apartment

When you rent an apartment for the first time, you may feel excited, anxious and overwhelmed simultaneously. Fortunately, you can reduce your uneasiness by learning about the process before you begin.

Choosing a Property

Before you apply for a lease, spend some time looking through the real estate listings for the perfect new home. Consider the price, amenities, space and location while you shop. Make appointments at your favorite locations and take a look around. Finally, use the information you have gained to decide which property is best for you.

Types of Leases

Some realtors offer several different leasing options. The most common leases are month-to-month or annual. With a month-to-month lease, your agreement with the landlord will be up for renewal on a monthly basis. With an annual lease, you must remain in the apartment for at least a year at a time before you can cancel or renew the lease. While month-to-month leases are more flexible, yearly leases typically feature a lower rent amount.

The Application Process

After you have decided on the perfect property and chosen your ideal type of lease, you must complete an application. On the renter's application, you will disclose information about your income and credit. If you are approved for the apartment, you will be able to sign the lease. In addition to the rent amount, the lease will also contain other provisions, such as rules for late payments, restrictions on pet ownership and parking guidelines.

Moving In

On moving day, you will finally be able to settle into your new home. Your landlord will give you the keys to the apartment, and he may also allow you to take an inventory of any damage on the interior. Make sure that you conduct a thorough walkthrough before submitting the inventory paperwork. When you move out, the landlord will assume that any damage you didn't list occurred while you lived in the apartment.

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