1.) Do you have a recommendation letter from your previous landlord or property manager? This is important, especially in population dense areas and in competitive markets like NYC, Philly, and SF. The same way we’re worried about who our landlord is when determining where we’ll live next; landlords are thinking the same thing in regard to who their next tenant(s) will be. Make yourself stick out from the other thirsty, prospective renters with a reference letter.
2.) Did you fill out your rental application thoroughly? Rental apps help sort out prospective tenants to home providers, as well. This is the universal tool used to determine if you match the requisite needs in which the landlord needs to make a decision. You customarily are given 24-48 hours to finish this. Get a move on it ASAP and get it back to your home provider before others can beat you to it.
3.) When you visited the apartment, did you make sure all the amenities worked? Always, always, always check to see if the faucet is running and make sure there is both hot and warm water. Do this in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc. You’ll also want to look for microline fractures on the walls and other minor damages that you may be held responsible for if you don’t report them to the landlord in advance.
4.) What’s the pest situation looking like? When touring a potential new pad, keep your eyes peeled for tiny holes towards the base of the walls as this may be a sign that pests and mice are often on the premises. Be sure to look under kitchen and bathroom sinks for spongy holes or little holes in general, as these are often indicative of a bug problem.
5.) Did you thoroughly review the rider? Most don’t realize this; but, the rider is usually more important than the lease itself. 85% of leases are generally standard docs that look exactly the same. The rider includes the differentiated information regarding YOUR apartment. Take at least 24 hours to review this and see how it addresses pets, the policy for what happens if the lease is breached in any way, and crosscheck the details in it versus the details outlined in the lease.
6.) Did you do your research on the property manager or landlord? Do your homework. As cliché as that sounds, I can’t stress this enough. Use websites like WhoseYourLandlord to look at reviews from past renters and even use Google as a reference when looking for additional info. Researching with the use of these kinds of tools gives you leverage and insight into info you otherwise wouldn’t receive from your peers. Know what you’re getting into prior to signing that lease. It’ll save you months, if not years, of heartache and stress.