How to Rent an Apartment

Report
How to Rent an
Apartment
Office of Residential Life and
Housing
Amy Gauthier, Director of RLH
Michelle Esposito, Area Coordinator
What are you looking for?
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Start with a list of preferences
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Privacy vs. economic implications
What items are non-negotiable?
Location
Metropolitan area vs. rural area
 Commute for work vs. commute for social life
 Neighbors
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So you want a roommate?
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Possible considerations
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Professional/school schedule
Social schedule/habits
Cleaning habits
Financial situation
Common space issues
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Kitchen, bathroom, other common living spaces
Pets
What is realistic?
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What type of space is ideal vs. what type of space is
practical
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Rent should be about 25-45% of gross income
What will utilities run you?
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What perks are important to you?
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Laundry on site
Central air
Workout facilities near by
Location of nearest “green space”
Parking situation – off street parking
How much will transportation cost you?
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What is included in your rent and what is extra
Financially and how much actual time invested?
Furnished vs. unfurnished?
Checklist of factors you’ll want to
consider when checking out a
neighborhood:
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Is it close to your place of employment?
Is the neighborhood safe?
Is it close to your synagogue, church, mosque,
etc?
Is it close to stores, banks and the post office?
Is it close public transportation?
What are the parking regulations?
Other factors to consider…
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Types of accommodations
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Room in a private home
Apartment
Room in a group house
Townhouse/condo
Where do I begin?
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Craig’s List
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Easy Roommate
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www.roommates.com
Apartment Center
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www.apartmentguide.com
Roommates
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www.rentnet.com/apartments/home.jhtml
Apartment Guide
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www.easyroommate.com
Rent Net Online Renters Guide
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http://boston.craigslist.org/
www.apartmentcenter.com
Apartments.com
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www.apartments.com
Other sources…
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Friends
Local and area newspapers
Bulletin boards
Signs
Realtors
Local college web sites
Viewing the space…
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Make an appointment and arrive on time
Dress appropriately
Be persistent
Ask good questions and take notes
Carry your checkbook
Begin your search early
Viewing the space…
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Take a second look at the area
 At night, without the realtor/landlord
Safety features
 Locks, windows, fire safety equipment
Check all major utilities/plumbing
 Water tank, heating and ac units, light switches, outlets,
appliances
Noise factors
 Thickness of walls, pets or children in the building, location in
relation to major roadways
Storage space
Condition of the space
 Use your senses!
Signing your life away!
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What is a lease?
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Tenant with a lease
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A lease is a legal agreement that is a controlling
document of the landlord-tenant relationship that sets
forth the rights and duties of both parties.
You and the landlord have agreed to a lease or
contract that allows a certain length of occupancy at
a set rent.
Tenant at will
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You have consent to occupy the rental unit but do not
have a lease. Renting month-to-month.
Top 10 List
(Key components of a good lease)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Repairs
Rental Payments
Security Deposit
“As Is” Clause
Utilities
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Length
Landlord’s Access
Subletting or
Assignment Clause
Rules of Behavior
Addendum
Landlord Responsibilities
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Provide facilities for hot water, heat, gas and electricity
Provide receipts for rent payments
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Dated and signed when requested
Avoid interference with tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises
provided the premises are used lawfully.
Provide smoke detectors and ensure they work properly when a new
tenant moves in.
Provide adequate locks and keys.
Put security deposits in a separate bank account and promptly
return the deposit, with interest, at the appropriate time.
Premises must have a warrant of habitability (approved for
occupancy)
Tenant Responsibilities
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Pay rent, and if required, a security deposit
Avoid damaging the premises
Maintain the premises in sanitary condition
Dispose of garbage properly
Inform the landlord of needed repairs
Avoid interfering with neighbors’ environment and living
conditions
Inform the landlord, within 30 days, of your intent to
move out
Upon moving out, restore the premises to the same
condition as when you moved in, besides normal wear
and tear
Apartment Condition Report
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This is your opportunity to go through the
apartment with the landlord and identify
possible damages:
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Holes in walls
Broken appliances
Fire safety equipment
Outlets and lights work properly
Carpet/flooring in good condition
Welcome to the Neighborhood…
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Investigate the following because they are
now your responsibility:
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Trash pick-up/recycling
Parking (winter parking bans)
Post office/mail delivery
Utilities (telephone, cable, internet, electricity,
etc.)
City noise ordinances
Renter’s Insurance
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Why is renter’s insurance important?
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Provides protection of personal property
against theft, vandalism, fire, water or smoke
damage
Often covers theft of personal property on
and off the premises
Covers personal liability for lawsuits

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