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Tips for Finding a Good Apartment or Rental Unit

Finding a decent apartment or rental unit is a challenging task. There are many elements to consider, and no two rentals are the same. We've put together a list of tips to help you make an informed decision, as well as providing information on renting a unit.

These tips are meant to be considered along with other factors such as location and price (to name a few).


What to consider?

- Compare rental prices and the cost of utilities.

The rental prices vary from short term stays to long term stay prices. What you are quoted may seem reasonable at first, but it could be higher because depending on the cost of utility usage. Many landlords provide a lower-than-market rate to make up for having to supply hot/cold water, electricity, and sometimes heat during winter season. This can save you a ton of expenses in utility costs over the year. However, you need to compare your utility bills with the other apartments or homes before deciding your future stay.


- Compare rental prices with what you are willing to pay.

When checking out apartments or homes, you will be given a unit to look at and possibly offered a written price quote. Whether it is a short term stay or a month plus long stay the prices may vary. Note that it may be higher or lower than market value due to the condition of the unit and/or other special circumstances. Make sure you know what it should cost before agreeing on a price.


- Compare the size of the living unit with your needs.

There are many factors that go into deciding what you will need in a unit, and there isn't always one correct size. Some people need a studio/one bedroom space because they do not have others guests who come over often. This is true for expats who travel on a business trip. Other guests look for larger spacious homes as they have friends and family who may come visit often and will need the extra space. It may not make sense to acquire a larger unit just because you occasionally have guests. Take the size of your household and what may be needed into account while searching for apartments or homes.


- Make friends with your landlord before you move in.

If you are looking for long-term residency, feel free to advise the landlord on how to better satisfy your needs so that the agreement is long-lived. An apartment or rental unit can be expensive to maintain, so it may be in the landlord's best interest to make sure you are content with everything. If you are not pleased with a unit, don't just move out; share your concerns with the landlord first and show him/her that you are willing to help by fixing things (or finding someone in the neighborhood who can). Great respectful communication is always a plus when moving into a home.


- Ask the landlord "What do you need to satisfy me?"

Many landlords go out of their ways to ensure the happiness of the tenants. Make sure that you ask all your questions in advance because it is essential to be well-informed when you are deciding on where to live.


- Inspect the unit before signing a lease or rental agreement (if applicable).

Viewing and assessing the unit before renting is always worthwhile since you may be able to negotiate something better than what you were initially quoted. This can make a difference in monthly payment, and it can save you frustrations if there are problems with the rental unit. Kindly ask the landlord or property manager for permission to visit before renting, as they will usually let you.


- Ask about utilities (if applicable).

When looking at a rental unit or home, it’s worth asking about the utilities since it might affect the costs you’ll be facing. Consider what kind of heating is in place since it would have an impact on the heating charges during the cold months in some areas. Some units are heated in the winter months, while others may not have any source of heat (or even an interior source of heat). While having air conditioning A/C in the summer is a huge plus it may come with a price. Finding out the general average of monthly expenses can help you plan and budget your allowance and spending on your rental unit.


- Determine when your lease expires.

This is a vital issue in renting. If you are planning on staying at an apartment for more than a few months, it is worth noting down when your lease expires so that you can start searching for an apartment or rental home about a year prior to your expiry date (sooner is usually better). This would allow you to take your time to look for something that suits your needs as well as your budget.

2022-04-11 11:29:29

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