There’s hardly anything more exciting than leasing your first apartment. However, if you want to make sure that your move goes as smoothly as possible, you should be aware of the most common pitfalls. Let’s take a moment to discuss 5 mistakes that new apartment leasers tend to make.

1. They Assume Utilities are Included

A lot of new apartment leasers assume that all of their utilities are included in the rent. However, this isn’t always the case. When leasing a new apartment, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some apartments that don’t include utilities. And this will have an impact on your budget.

So ask the property manager how utilities are handled. Will they be added to each rent payment? Or, will you have to open accounts for your light, cable, and internet services? If you will be responsible for opening your own account, then you may be required to put down money upfront. The good news is that these are usually one-time fees.

2. They Don’t Take a Tour of the Apartment

Another big mistake the new apartment leasers tend to make is that they don’t tour the apartment before signing their lease. Technology has made things much more convenient when it comes to leasing an apartment. This is especially the case when it comes to virtual tours. However, these virtual tours may belong to fake listings.

Before you sign the lease, schedule a physical tour of the apartment. This way you can get a sense of the community. Does the property collect their trash regularly? Do the neighbors seem to be friendly and quiet?

3. They Don’t Pay Attention to Parking

When searching for the best apartment, new leasers tend to get caught up in the extra conveniences such as walking trails, pools, gyms, clubhouses, and saunas. However, what many fail to think about is parking. When leasing a new apartment, it’s important to pay attention to how convenient the parking is as this will often be a daily struggle.

Pay attention to your surroundings and ask questions of the other residents. Does the lot tend to fill up quickly? Are there enough spaces for visitors? Ask the property manager if your visitors will require a pass–specifically if they are staying overnight. Are there assigned parking spots?

4. They Don’t Understand the Lease

One of the most important steps in leasing a new apartment is signing the lease. While many new leasers read over their lease, not many understand the terms of the lease. And this can have a huge impact on how smoothly everything goes in the future. It’s very easy to add your initials to and sign an apartment lease. The problem is if you don’t actually understand what the agreement says then you won’t know what your rights are. Also, you won’t know what the apartment expects of you as a renter.

When signing your lease, make sure that you are not rushing through the process. Take time to read through the entire document. If there are clauses that you don’t understand, ask the property manager to explain them further. If there are clauses that you don’t agree with, find out if they can be negotiated or changed. Perhaps you noticed something during your tour and the manager agreed to repair it within a month of your moving in. Make sure that this is stated in your contract. Also, make sure that you request a copy so that you can refer back to it if needed.

5. They Don’t Opt for Renter’s Insurance

New leasers often fail to opt for renter’s insurance. It’s always a good idea to be prepared in case of an emergency, such as a theft or fire. So make sure that all of your belongs are insured. It will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

The Takeaway

As you can see, there are several mistakes first-time apartment leasers make. They may assume that their utilities are included or fail to take a physical tour. They don’t pay attention to the parking situation or make an effort to understand their leasing agreement. Also, many don’t get insurance. Luckily, by familiarizing yourself with these mistakes, you can avoid them and make the transition to your new home much easier.

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