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Renter’s Remorse

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This article is about mistakes that renters can make when searching for an apartment.
 
The way to avoid these mistakes is to ask the right questions. Some questions are for your prospective landlord to answer. For other questions, your best answers will come from other tenants. It may take time and a little courage to interview other tenants, but it can be worth it if they help you avoid mistakes. If you are in the process of looking for an apartment, you may want to print this article and bring it with you so that you do not forget an important question.
 

Mistakes to Avoid

Ask your Landlord

Ask other Tenants

Noise Problems What are the rules governing tenant noise, and how are they enforced? Have you been bothered by noise from trains, planes, dogs, or neighbors?
Poor Condition Unfinished Repairs See the actual apartment, not a "similar apartment." If the landlord agrees that something requires refurbishing, get a written commitment as part of the lease, rather than relying on verbal assurances. When something breaks, how responsive is the landlord about fixing it?
Parking Shortage Is there a designated parking place with the apartment? How much do additional parking places cost? Are you always able to find parking for yourself? Are guests able to find parking?
Transportation Issues Where is the nearest mass transit? Is snow removal prompt after a storm?
Computer Connection Problems Where are electrical outlets and phone jacks located? Are high-speed Internet connections available in this location?
Laundry Hassles Where in the building are washers and dryers? If tenants share laundry facilities, are they usually available?
Surprise Expenses Who is responsible for paying for electricity, heat, Cable TV, and water? Have you been surprised by any hidden expenses? Have rent increases been reasonable?
 
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