Renting your first apartment is a big deal. It signifies a moment of independence and marks a new era of life! Unfortunately, for many college students and graduates, there are some pretty easy mistakes that can be made when renting for the very first time. While some of these mistakes can be minor, others can place long-term financial burdens on students that are new to the renting game. Either way, it’s important to be aware of these mistakes before they’re made. If you’re looking for Ohio University housing in Athens, check out these common mistakes to avoid when signing a lease for the first time.
Forgetting to Consider Total Costs
It happens all the time. You see an advertisement for a home or apartment that’s listed in your price range, so you race to a leasing office to sign a contract. However, just because the monthly rental price is in your budget, it doesn’t mean that this price is the bottom line. For instance, many new renters forget about deposits; paying first and last month’s rent up front; or the cost of things such as utilities, cable, Wi-Fi, or parking. When considering your budget, it’s important to take all costs into consideration. How much is the average electric bill? Will you have to pay extra for a security system? Do you need renter’s insurance? Remember to make a list of every possible monthly cost before signing a lease.
Signing without Seeing
Right now, virtual tours are very popular. Leasing companies can create profiles for rental properties that look amazing online. They include pictures, videos, and detailed descriptions that can make you believe that everything is perfect! However, they very rarely include pictures of cracked surfaces, stained walls, or broken appliances. Plus, pictures can be edited! That big living room with the natural light flowing in could simply be the work of a wide lens and the brightness turned up. Don’t fall for it. Make sure you make an appointment to see the apartment in person before you make any moves.
Renting your first apartment is exciting! Sometimes it can be so exciting that you end up ignoring damage, no matter how big or small it is. Many students will fall in love with a location or floor plan, so when they see the apartment in person, they overlook things like broken blinds, missing handles on cabinets, or faulty plumbing. Be sure to do a thorough walk-through with the landlord or leasing agent. Take pictures and make lists of anything that looks damaged. If you still want to rent the property, talk to the owner to make sure that these issues will be fixed before your move-in date. You don’t want to be charged for these issues, and you certainly don’t want to have to fix them yourself.
Not Reading the Fine Print
When the time comes to put your name on a lease, be sure to read every inch of your contract! You’ll be surprised by how many renters with dogs accidentally sign leases with no pets allowed clearly marked on page one. You never know if there’s some term or condition that you’re not down with. Will you be able to have a roommate if you want one? Can guests stay long-term? Are you allowed to paint the walls? Most importantly, are there any hidden costs? Reading all the fine print can make you feel more confident in your choice. Think you’re ready to start apartment hunting? Contact a representative at Wharton Rentals today to learn more about your options for Ohio University rental properties!