Apartment Hunters- Great Advice for Students and First-Timers Part 2

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Apartment Hunters Great Advice for Students and First -Timers PART 2 explores the commonly overlooked details once you’ve found an apartment.

I Think I Found the Perfect Place

You’ve spent the time apartment hunting and have found a great place to call home.  But before you sign, talk to someone that actually lives in the building.  Here are some things to ask about:

  • What they like about the place and what they don’t?
  • How are the amenities?
  • Do they find the landlord responsive to their questions?
  • Are issues addressed immediately?
  • How’s the location and can you get where you need to be, rather easily?
  • Is the size of the apartment adequate just in case you consider a roommate in the future?
  • What about the other residents in the building?
  • Are they mostly college kids or families?

If they comment on blaring music or the scurrying of critters in the kitchen at night…move on. Talk to your landlord about the types of neighbors on all sides of your unit so you’re not caught off guard by screaming babies or late-night partying.

Consider the Minutia

What is the flow of the apartment community?  Is there plenty of parking outside your building?  Do you have to open 3 doors just to access the building? Is there and elevator or only stairs?   Truly consider the minor details before accepting the unit unless the thought carrying 8 bags of groceries and a 24 pack of Gatorade up three flights of stairs, sounds invigorating.  Good luck with that.

It’s Move in Day

Read the lease in its entirety; even the stuff you don’t understand.  If you are unsure of something, ask for clarification- you are legally bound by that document once you sign.  Make sure all details are IN WRITING (emails count) and that you receive a copy of the signed lease (the landlord has 30 days to get it to you).

Now… put that smartphone to good use. When you move in, take pictures of the condition of the apartment, anything that is in need of repair or any damage you find. Write everything down on a list, date it, and take a picture of that as well.

Get a receipt EVERY TIME you pay your landlord for something – whether it’s for the lock installation, the security deposit or for the carport rental.  Keep your receipts, the copy of your lease and the printed pictures you snapped of your unit on move-in day, in a safe place.  Congratulations- you’ve made it!  Happy Apartment Living!

Were you an Apartment Hunter with a great or not-so-great roommate experience? Share it with our readers in the comment section below.

Questions about your rights as a Massachusetts Tenant? The MA Attorney General’s Office Student Renters Guide can help. 

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