your First Apartment
Renting that first
apartment can be exciting and a little bit scary. You will probably look
at several apartments to find the one that has the location you want,
includes the amenities you need and that is affordable. That is the exciting
Then comes the process
of applying for the lease. You will probably have to fill out an application
that asks for several types of information. Be sure to understand all
the details, fill out the application completely (and honestly) and ask
questions about anything you do not understand.
Remember, the landlord
is running a business and you are the customer. The difference between
this type of transaction and just buying something at a store is that
it is for a longer time. Your relationship with the landlord will continue
as long as you live in the apartment. Starting the relationship on a good
note and living up to your responsibilities as a renter can make the relationship
Here are some of the
things you may encounter when applying for the lease:
- Personal Information
- You will probably need to provide information on your prior places
of residence, your employment, contact information in case of an emergency,
information on your car and whether you have pets. You may even be asked
about any legal record you may have.
- Application Fee
- You will probably have to pay an application fee which may be non-refundable.
This covers the cost of the landlord processing your application. Ask
if your application fee can be applied to your rent. You may not get
it, but there is no harm in asking.
- Security Deposit
- Once your application is accepted, the landlord will probably want
a deposit that could cover couple months rent. The landlord holds this
as security in case there are damages when you move out. Be sure to
inspect the apartment before you move in to find any existing damages.
If you find some, discuss them with the landlord and make sure you are
not charged for them when you move out.
- Credit Report -
The landlord will probably get a credit report on you before they approve
your application. This is normal and is one of the ways the landlord
gets some comfort that you will pay the rent.
- Guarantor - Depending
on your situation, the landlord may require that someone else guarantees
your lease. Remember the landlord is in business to make a profit and
he wants to make sure that the rent gets paid and that the apartment
is well taken care of. If you are just starting out or if this is your
first apartment, this may happen. Do not be alarmed or frustrated. Your
parent or guardian is the most likely person to ask.
Finally, be a good
renter. Being a landlord is a business just like any other. Renters and
customers that are pleasant to work with and pay their bills promptly
usually get better service. A good relationship with your landlord can
be important if things go wrong. Remember, your landlord is whom you are
going to call if there is a leak in your roof at 3 AM or there is no hot
water. A good relationship may get the problem resolved easier and sooner.