When renting, we suggest that you ask the following questions:
- Is the apartment completely or partially furnished (sofa, bed, table, chairs etc.)?
- Which utilities, such as gas, water, and electricity are included in the rent?
- On average, how much are the utilities per month?
- Are there laundry facilities available? If not, are there any laundry facilities nearby?
- How much money is required to move in; security deposit, first/last month’s rent?
- Is the apartment close to restaurants, grocery stores, shopping areas, etc.?
- Is the apartment close to public transportation?
- Is the neighborhood safe? Have there been any incidents (crime, vandalism etc.) in the past six months?
- (If you have a car) Does the apartment come with a parking space or is there an extra fee for parking?
The Security Deposit
If at all possible, try to talk to some current tenants in the apartment complex where you are considering renting BEFORE you sign your lease. These people can provide you with inside information on the responsiveness of management, noise levels, your future neighbors and much, much more. Also, consider visiting www.apartmentratings.com for honest apartment reviews by current and former tenants
Your Responsibilities as a Tenant
- Pay your rent on or by the first of the month. Set up a checking account at a local bank so that you can pay by check.
- Keep your apartment neat and clean. Problems with cleanliness can result in the unwelcome addition of cockroaches and mice. If you do have problems such as these, contact your landlord as soon as possible to let him/her know.
- Be respectful of your neighbors. Keep noise levels down, especially between 10pm and 7am. Apartment walls tend to be thin. As a result, noise can easily travel between apartment units.
- Get to know your neighbors. Simply saying hello or goodbye to your neighbors can be an effective way to promote friendly relations. Do your best to speak the English language to your neighbors.
- Get permission from your landlord before painting or making any other serious changes to your apartment. If you do paint your walls, you will most likely be required to paint them back to their original color before you leave.
- Dispose of your garbage properly. Put all of your garbage (non-recyclables) in a large trash bag, tie the bag closed TIGHTLY, and put it on the curb or in a designated trash can next to the street in front of your house. Remember to throw out your garbage only on garbage day.
- Be aware of legal drinking laws. The legal age for drinking alcohol in this country is 21. You will need to show some form of identification, usually a driver’s license, in order to purchase alcohol. Please do NOT buy alcohol for ANYONE under 21, as this is also breaking the law.