Before you begin searching for an apartment, decide how much you can afford monthly to pay rent. Rent is normally due the 1st day of each month. Late fees are often assessed if your rent payment is late. Don’t forget to take common apartment expenses into consideration including electricity, gas, heat, air conditioning, cable, internet, renter’s insurance, and laundry when you are budgeting for your apartment.
As a rule of thumb the amount you should be budgeting for rent, which includes the miscellaneous rent expenses mentioned above, should be no more than 30% of your monthly income.
You may have to acquire renter’s insurance if your landlord requires it. Even if it’s not required, it may be a good idea to purchase renter’s insurance, as it will protect your personal belongings in case of theft, fire or natural disaster. Learn more about the benefits of renters insurance here.
Pick a day to schedule apartment tours to see the rental units in person so you can see the unit’s conditions. Come prepared with questions you want to ask the property manager. Good questions to ask can include the following:
Take notes about each apartment so you can compare apartments later. Ask for contact information from each property manager.
Once you have picked the apartment that you want to rent, it’s time to sign the lease! Be sure to carefully read over each section in your lease. Ask your landlord about any questions you might have or clarification you need. The lease covers everything you need to know from the respective duties of the landlord to the lease term.
Your landlord will give you an inspection sheet to fill out when you first move in. It’s very important for you and your roommates to do a thorough walk through of your apartment when you first move in. Mark down any repairs that need to be done, and if anything is dirty or missing. Important things to check for during the inspection may include:
Fill out the inspection sheet and return it to your landlord as soon as possible.
While the process of searching and acquiring a rental might be time consuming, the end result is very rewarding!
Hunziker Property Management has many rental properties throughout the city of Ames. Please contact us if you have any questions about our rental policies or have an inquiry about one of our rental units.