The Ultimate How to Rent an Apartment Checklist

Whether you’re a recent college graduate, or just someone ready to branch out on your own, renting an apartment for the first time can be a daunting process! Check out our ultimate how to rent an apartment checklist to help guide you through the process:

1. Make a Budget

First things first, you need to create a budget before starting your apartment search. Although this isn’t the most glamorous part of finding an apartment, it is necessary and will make the process easier. Knowing how much you can afford up front will narrow down your search, and will prevent you from falling in love with an apartment that is out of your budget. The best way to make a budget is to consider how much money you make each month, and then identify your monthly expenses like phone or cable bills, car payments, and utilities. A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent. Keep in mind up-front costs like security deposits, and common fees like pet fees, parking, and renter’s insurance.

2. Create a Must-Have List

Now to a more fun step for first time renters! Start day-dreaming about your dream apartment, and create a list of must-have amenities and features. Now, you might not find an apartment that meets everything on your list, but it is a great start to eliminating options. Keep your list in mind as you search for apartments, and try to find one that meets as many items as possible. This will help you to not get distracted by a beautiful apartment that meets none of your criteria! Check out our apartment tour checklist for a thorough list of wants and needs to consider. This list will make learning how to rent an apartment even easier!

3. Complete all the Paperwork

Once you’ve found your dream apartment, it’s time to complete all the paperwork that comes along with it. First, you’ll need to fill out a rental application to show that you’re qualified to lease an apartment. You’ll need information like a valid I.D., social security card, bank statements, pay stubs, and previous addresses on hand. If you’re a recent college graduate and don’t have a credit card score built up yet, or have never rented prior, you might want to consider having someone co-sign your lease. This will reassure your apartment that you’ll be able to make rent each month, and might increase your chances of getting the apartment. After your application has been approved, you’ll need to sign your lease! Make sure you read all the policies and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Nail down your move-in date, extra fees, when rent is due each month, and how to pay it. 

4. Use an Apartment Locator

Does learning how to rent an apartment seem a little overwhelming? Consider using an apartment locator! Apartment locators are professionals who know everything from A to Z about apartments, so you don’t have to. They’ll walk you through each step of the rental process, and will answer any questions or concerns you might have.

If you’re ready to start your first apartment search with the help of a locator, contact us today! We will create a customized list of apartments based on your wants and needs, and will help to find you the perfect place and a great deal. Not to mention, our services are 100% FREE, so you don’t have to worry about including us in your budget.