It can be overwhelming to find the perfect place to call home, but it’s not as hard as it may seem. You can get a great apartment without all the hassle when you take the time to look for the common warning-signs of a bad lease. Be prepared with these five red-flags that no tenant can overlook!
Lots Of Vacant Apartments
This is totally normal for a brand-new apartment complex, but you should really take everything with a grain of salt when no one else is renting. Vacancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in over twenty years according to the United States Census Bureau.
There’s a lot of reasons that an area might scare everyone off. You should take a second-look at the neighborhood, and you should seriously make sure you aren’t about to overpay! If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Figure out why there aren’t many tenants before you sign anything.
Landlords Who Don’t Know Their Boundaries
You can spot overbearing landlords from a mile away. The best way to handle it is by catching it during the walk-through of the apartment you’re interested in. Pay close attention to what the property manager says when you’re looking to fill out your paperwork.
If they complain about other tenants, then you should run away as fast as you can. It’s a good sign that the property manager has no problem bad-mouthing tenants over the little things. It won’t be long until you start getting little notes on your door. You’ll be getting a free micro-manager along with your apartment lease. That’s not a good thing. Go find another place to live where everyone minds their own business.
It Feels Like A Job Interview
Some apartments are so strict that it feels like you’re going in for a job interview. It is what it is. They want responsible tenants that aren’t going to wreck the place, and you don’t want to live next to a bunch of crazy people. The problem you need to look out for is when you keep having to pay ridiculous fees just to submit a form.
Paying for a background check out of your own pocket is normal. Paying hundreds of dollars for application fees is not normal. Multi-level interviews with different property managers are insane. If you don’t hear something back within a reasonable number of days, then don’t bother wasting any more time with them.
You might come across a rental that isn’t exactly ready for you to move into yet. It’s a bet that you don’t want to risk your down-payment on. Tons of things can go wrong that can stop construction deadlines from being met. It’s best to just pass on an apartment that you can’t immediately start moving to.
The last thing you want is to deal with remodeling while you’re living at a place. You’ll have to let strangers into your home countless times, and you might even have someone working around your prized possessions while you aren’t even home. Don’t sign a lease for an apartment that isn’t in perfect living conditions yet. It’s a headache that no amount of medicine can fix!
Long Waiting Lists
The best spots in town usually take a while to get approved for. You could be waiting well over a week before you get the final decision from an apartment’s quality-control team. Be sure to ask how long you can expect to wait before relaxing in your newly-furnished apartment. It’s a good indicator of exactly how hard it is to get accepted.
You might want to consider speaking with several different representatives at a variety of apartments in your area. If you need to move in before your current contract renews, then you’ll want to know for a fact that it’s going to work out for your schedule. Don’t sign anything unless you have total reassurance that you’ll be able to start moving on an agreed-upon date. Try asking about a rental incentive for apartments that have an unreasonable waiting period. Many landlords are offering great discounts according to the HuffPost.
Enjoy Your New Apartment!
Most tenants are never going to face any huge problems when searching for a new apartment. They need to fill vacancies, and you need a place to lay your head at night. If you’re feeling a little paranoid about a new lease, then it’s always perfectly fine to go over a contract with a licensed legal professional. Do your research, and keep your eyes peeled for any red-flags that could ruin your next move. You’ve got this!