Saturday, May 5, 2012

Renting Basics

Renting Basics are a must to know before you go to look for an apartment.  Whether you are renting for the first time, getting back into the rental market after an absence, or moving to a new area, brushing up on how to rent an apartment from the Texas Apartment Association is important before you get out there and start visiting properties.

The first step is to set a budget.  Make sure that you factor in costs like utilities and rental insurance that aren't included in your rent and make sure your rent isn't more than a third of your gross income.  Next, request a free credit report and clear up any mistakes or problems before you start filling out applications.

If you are a minor, a student, or don't make enough to qualify to pay the rent, you may be asked to get a co-signer, who is usually a parent, relative or employer who will be responsible for the rent if you cannot pay it.  This person is usually not someone who lives with you.

Make a list of what your priorities are for your new home and use it to narrow down your choices.  As you visit apartments, look over the property and analyze how well it is maintained.  Also, talk to existing residents and ask if they have been happy with the property, how maintenance requests or problems are handled, and if they would recommend living there to others. 

Finally, visit the properties you are considering at night to see if they are well lit and compare their security measures to other properties in the neighborhood.  You also should ask the management how emergencies are handled and how residents are told about any crime or safety problems.

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