We’ve all been there before, right? You do something, say something, sign something, only to beat yourself up about it later. That’s regret.
Regret is never a good thing, but it can be further compounded based on its scope. Below I have listed 3 things I wish I would have known before signing my rental contracts. Hopefully you will learn from these apartment renting tips.
1 Internet Connections: Last year I made the false assumption that everyone has high-speed internet and that it is readily available to all tenants. Soon after my wife and I moved into a new little place that seemed absolutely perfect for us, we realized that the Owner (who was Managing her own property) worked at a school and had no need for internet at home. She had never even considered putting internet in her home.
After a grueling week of living off of the 3G from my iPhone, we finally were able to negotiate the terms of an internet plan. Don’t overlook this small detail!
2 Parking Regulations: Now, I don’t necessarily blame many places for how strict their parking regulations can be, but it’s still a really good thing to know beforehand. If you live in or are considering a complex, take into consideration that your parking has been very carefully determined by management. If you are feeling at ease because there are other complexes or plenty of curbside parking, you’d be wise to double check. In many instances, curbside parking is restricted during many parts of the day and other lots have reserved parking that is heavily enforced by a seemingly ruthless and always punctual towing company. It may seem like an afterthought, but parking regulations in your area could have a huge impact on your living experience.
3 Management: Management quite easily turned out to be the most influential factor in my ultimate feelings towards my renting experience. I have had good experiences and bad experiences. For some places, I would have looked elsewhere had I known my experience would end up the way it did.
I was married in early 2009 and my wife and I moved into a basement apartment that was managed by a company just down the road. Things were rough right from the start. For several months, we were not getting our utility bills. I contacted them over and over again to request our balances, and I was ignored. Skipping those payments was nice at the time, but I knew that eventually we would get one large past-due bill. Eventually we got our bill, but we owed a few hundred dollars by that time, and the management so graciously offered to split it into a few payments over the next three months.
One time we accidentally locked ourselves out. We were relieved to know that Management was only a few blocks away, so it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to get them to come over and unlock the door for us. I called them and found out that it would cost more than $30 for them to take the 10 minute total trip to help us out. We found our own way back in.
Talk to Management. Prepare some questions beforehand that will help you get a feel for who they are and how they might respond to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask them details about how they operate.
So add this to your apartment hunting checklist, and as you take the extra time to find out more about internet connections, parking regulations, and management, you will find that you will feel much more confident in your selection of a new apartment.