Category Archives: Renting

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5 Ways to Find an Apartment within a Short Notice

You may don’t have any intention to move to another place or at least not in the near future. But, who knows! You never know when life throws you a curve! You may have found a new job that requires you to move halfway across the country within a week or two. Or, a sudden change of circumstance may force you to change your current apartment when it’s just a week or two before your lease is up.

The search for a rental apartment takes time and effort. However, when you don’t have that much time, follow these tips:

Create a List

Take a piece of paper and write down the features and facilities that you want to have in your new apartment. Rate them as must-haves, nice-to-haves, and bonuses. Put your absolute necessities in the must-haves category while be ready to compromise on the other two categories.

For example, a pet-friendly apartment or a laundry in the apartment complex could be something that you can’t tick off while the hardwood flooring or a patio is expendable if you find other things suitable.

Dig Deep In the Internet

The Internet will be your best friend if you have to find an apartment within a short notice in an unknown neighborhood or city. The longer is your online research, the better able you are to spot the winners.

Hours of Internet sourcing will make you a semi-expert in the rental market of your desired area. Many websites will allow you to customize your searches, which makes it easier to find apartments that work for you and your lifestyle. You can easily find out which rentals accept pets and which ones have room for an office.

Be Proactive

You will need to be proactive in finding potential units, and that does not mean just searching online. Start by calling the apartment managers and the leasing agents in the area you seek to live for. Talking to them will give you an idea about the type of available apartments and if they are within your price range.

You can also start asking family, friends, colleagues, relatives, and acquaintances to see if they know about any rental apartment suitable for you. Spread the words in your social media circles and place online advertisements to speed up the process.

Drive around

Get in your car and start driving around the town or area where you seek to rent. If you need to move to a city in another state, go there for 3 to 4 days and rent a car to drive around your selected area. Write down the phone numbers and addresses of the places showing a “for rent” sign, and start calling to inquire about the properties. It will increase your chance of hitting a last-minute rental.

Be Prepared to Compromise

Finding your dream apartment in a week or two is tough. So, be prepared to accept an apartment that may not tick all the boxes you had in mind. Try to stick on what you’ve listed as must-haves and show an open mind in terms of other points.

low-rent

5 Effective Ways to Negotiate a Lower Rent

It’s particularly difficult to negotiate a lower rent in a booming rental market. In fact, landlords these days don’t want to lower the rent even if you are willing to sign a long-term lease. In most cases, the renters have to rent the apartment or sign a new contract at the amount fixed by the owner.

However, fret not! Sharp tenants always find some ways to take a negotiation in their favor. Check out the following ways to know how to gain the upper hand while negotiating rent with your landlord:

Ask

Most people even don’t try to negotiate the rent thinking that it will upset the landlord! Don’t worry; you can still ask in a polite way. Just think from the landlord’s perspective and offer him a deal that he will find worthwhile. For example, you can offer painting the apartment in exchange for a slightly cheaper rent. You can also say that if he lowers the rent, you won’t need a common but costly renovation.

Do the Research

Another way to negotiate the rent is to show your landlord that you can live in quite similar rental units somewhere less for less money. However, you have to do a bit of research about the neighborhood to back up such a proposition.

Some websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Apartmentfinder, etc. provide information about rental units and their rents in various neighborhoods. Browse those sites and collect the information you need to show the owner that you can move to a cheaper rental nearby.

Offer to Help

Every landlord will appreciate a tenant who doesn’t mind offering some help. You can offer him to refer the vacant units of the apartment to your friends and acquaintances who are looking for rentals. You can also spread words about the apartment in your social media circles and give positive reviews on different rental sites. Going to extra lengths may convince your landlord to lower the rent.

Show Your Credit Score

If you have a good credit score, show it to your landlord. A good credit score is an indicator of your financial stability and responsibility. Your property owner expects you to pay the rentals regularly. So, a credit score with an impressive figure illustrates a history of on-time payments.

You can also have the upper hand if you have a stable job or produce the proof of a steady monthly income that is two to three times the monthly rental rate.

Bring a Guarantor

It’s you who are going to live in the apartment but bringing a guarantor into the deal will add to your credibility and help you having some leverage. It can be your parents, a relative, or a friend and it will add to your case if s/he has a good credit score.

You have to figure out the way that will work best for you. However, never represent yourself as a nagging negotiator because there’s a slim chance that any landlord will want to deal with an annoying tenant.

rental-secrets

5 Things You Should not Hide from Your Landlord

Living in a home means you have to deal with some particular problems – a leaky roof, a broken shower, a damaged window, or lost keys, maybe. Things are similar when you are living in a rental. Read More →

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5 Ways to Get a Good Deal on Rental Apartment

Renting an apartment does not involve the hassles and tremendous prep work involved in buying a house. However, it does not also mean that you’ll just shift into the first apartment where the landlord offers you cheap rent.

Choosing a rental apartment requires you not only to consider the monthly rent but also to consider the whole picture such as the neighborhood, median rent prices, proximity to workplace, etc.
We’ve discussed some factors that will help you determine whether you’re getting a good deal on your rental apartment:

Work on Rental Websites

Searching for rentals does not mean that you have to be out in the street and check every single unit that seems reasonable. Physical searching isn’t practical, and it consumes more time and money than online searching.

Many rental websites are there, and some of them have generous listings of rental units. These sites give you the option of searching with customized variables such as monthly rent, neighborhood, size of the apartment, etc. Some sites even allow the users to analyze and compare rent prices. Many local sites are there too that will help you finding the best deals in your chosen area.

Know the Neighborhood

Knowing the neighborhood is an essential prerequisite for making a good deal. Even if you find a rental in a nice apartment complex within your budget, the neighborhood may fall short of your expectations.

If you’ve fixed eyes on an apartment, drive around the area a couple of times at day and night. It will help you figure out about the traffic, noise, and parking condition of the area. You may also find out if it has a branch of your favorite diner or retail shop.

Calculate the Tax Rates

Some of you may have raised eyebrows because taxes are a concern for the buyers and homeowners. Right? Well, not exactly! Wage taxes are applicable in many cities and states. So, if you are moving to a new city such as Philadelphia, you’ll have to deal with a 4% wage tax, which is likely to make a sizable chunk of your paycheck.

Find out about the taxes and other fees before moving into a new county or city so that you face no problem covering up your monthly expenses in the new place.

Check the Building’s Maintenance

Even an old apartment can make a good deal if it’s well maintained. You surely don’t want to trade low rent for peeling paint, leaky roof, broken showers, or drafty windows. Ask the property manager when the building was last renovated or updated. Besides, take a good look around the apartment to find out if there’s any damage or if any area needs repair.

Negotiate

Asking your landlord to lower the rent won’t cost you anything. However, just asking or making a simple request won’t do the trick sometimes. Find out some points that the owner is likely to consider in exchange for cutting the rent. Flaunt your good credit score or offer the landlord to stay longer than one year. Most homeowners will negotiate if the renter is willing to sign a long-term lease.

breaking-rental-lease

How to Break a Rental Lease without Penalty

Last week, we discussed the valid reasons for not renewing a rental lease. However, sometimes you just need to move out before the due time because of drastic changes in your life plans or something else. Read More →

rental home

Rental Home: 5 Reasons Not to Renew the Initial Lease

Moving to a new place and changing lifestyle to adjust to the new neighborhood is not easy, and nobody wants to go through the hassles of frequent moving. However, sometimes you have valid reasons to walk away after the initial one-year agreement. Read More →

house renting landlord screening

House Renting: How to Screen a Prospective Landlord

Moving into a new apartment as a renter is a huge milestone, but your new life could turn hellish if the landlord creates troubles. So, to prevent any future hassle, you should try to know your prospective landlord as much as you can. Read More →

rental-scams

How to Avoid the Most Common Rental Scams

Renting a new home is a lot of work. The hassle of moving your things to a new place, adjusting to a new neighborhood, and maintaining a new lifestyle takes a toll on your mental and physical state. However, the thing you should be concerned most is rental scams that can happen when all the other problems are not even on the horizon. Read More →

rental identity theft

5 Steps to Minimize the Risks of Rental Identify Theft

Identity theft is an alarming issue in rental frauds. Sometimes, the scams involve just a ‘ruse’ or a ‘rip-off’ springing from paying upfront for unavailable properties, but identity theft is the scariest of all.

It’s standard procedure for landlords and brokers to run credit checks before renting the property to someone. However, such a process also means handing over your highly confidential financial information to them. Read More →

landlord-problems-home-renting

Renting a Home? Tips to Avoid Problems with the Landlord

Even a pretty house or a nice apartment complex can be transformed into a hellhole if you end up with a bad landlord. Most of the times, problems arise when either tenants don’t know about their legal rights or landlords cross their legal boundaries.

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