Apartment living has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s a great option for many people. You don’t have to deal with (or pay for) maintenance when the hot water goes out or the refrigerator goes out, and it’s much easier to break a lease than to sell a house if you decide you want to make a sudden move away from your current location. On the other hand, bad landlords, toxic roommates, unexpected rent increases, and problems with things like hot water and appliances are all things that apartment renters frequently encounter. Finding a good balance between the positive and negative aspects of apartment living is largely a matter of attitude and self-improvement. There is a lot of power in your hands when it comes to renting a house or apartment. Renters should be aware of the following do’s and don’ts.
Inspect The Unit
During your first day in a new apartment, you’ll have the opportunity to notice any structural flaws like chipped paint or water damage as well as things like making sure all of the outlets work and there is no mold in the shower. You probably want to get started unpacking as soon as possible, but take the time to inspect everything thoroughly and take pictures if you notice anything unusual. These issues are the responsibility of your landlord, and they can be addressed even before you move in. Furthermore, if you don’t make a note of them now, you might be held liable for them if you decide to leave.
Be a good Neighbor
Whether your neighbors are other tenants in the same building or people who live next door, be the person you’d want to live next to you. What does that entail, and how does one go about it? Giving a friendly wave when you see someone in the hallway is just the beginning. When it comes to apartment living, being a good neighbor means making sure your activities don’t disrupt your neighbors. Keep the volume of your music down, don’t have a lot of raucous parties, and remember to clean up after yourself.
Consider Getting a Roommate
Apartments aren’t cheap to rent. The national average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $950, with some cities (like San Francisco) seeing a much higher price tag. It’ll cost you over $2,400 per month. It’s a no-brainer to split the rent with a roommate when the cost of living is so high. Compared to a one-bedroom apartment, a two-bedroom isn’t much more expensive at $1,178 on the national average. If you split the cost between two people, you’ll save a lot of money. Take your roommate search seriously and look out for red flags and ask questions to make sure you and your new roommate are a good match for each other.
Make It Your Own
Just because you’re renting a place doesn’t mean that it can’t feel familiar to you and your family. Make the most of your apartment experience by infusing it with your unique sense of style. If painting the walls or installing hooks in the walls for art is permitted by your lease, go ahead and do it. Even if it doesn’t, your home can still benefit from a personal touch. You can use temporary decals and wall art to decorate the space in a way that is easy to remove when your lease is up.
Report Maintainance Issues
The longer you wait to address problems with your water, electricity, heating/cooling, and pests, the worse they will get. The sooner a problem is brought to your landlord’s attention, the easier it will be to resolve. If a small leak can be plugged up and no damage is done, but a large leak occurs, your floor and the ceiling below you will be severely damaged.
Even after you leave your parents’ house, your to-do list gets a little longer. It is your responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of your apartment, and if you fail to do so, you will have to pay the price. If you don’t make your bed or leave the dishes in the sink overnight, that’s fine. But get into the habit of cleaning your space on a regular basis so that your home doesn’t become truly shabby. Make it a point to vacuum or mop the floors once a week, disinfect the bathroom (disinfectant wipes are a lifesaver), and wipe down the counters. Get a cleaning service if you can’t bring yourself to do these things and it’s within your budget.
Saving money can be difficult when your rent takes up a large portion of your paycheck each month, but it is critical to maintaining a savings account at all times. While renting an apartment, be mindful of your spending and stick to a budget that you can live with. To be safe, it’s always a good idea to have a few months’ worths of savings set aside in case you lose your job and can’t pay your rent. Use an emergency fund calculator to figure out how much money you should be saving each month.
Apartment living involves more than just locating the ideal location. There is a big difference between renting a place you can’t wait to leave and renting a place you look forward to returning to. Make the most of your time as a tenant by following the advice given above. Things like home maintenance and property taxes will soon become your responsibility when you own a home of your own.