You’ve done some research online and have a few potential new apartments in mind, and you’re ready to go take a look. But who should show you the potential apartments: the landlord, an agent, or a current tenant? The person showing the apartment can make a big difference in how much you know about your new apartment before you sign the lease, so it’s an important choice! Keep reading to know who should show you your potential apartments.
Current tenant or landlord
When looking for a new apartment, you want to tour it with a current tenant if possible. A current tenant will likely be the most honest with you about the pros and cons of the apartment or apartment complex. Since the landlord or agent doesn’t live there, they don’t have a ground-level view of what living there is like. If you know someone in the same building, looking through their apartment and asking them questions can be a great way to gather information.
This approach isn’t always possible, so try to arrange a showing with the landlord either way. Dedicated real estate agents show properties and apartments all the time, and have lots of practice saying the right things to close the deal. And sure, the landlord is making the most money off renting an apartment, but they won’t have the practiced salesmanship of an agent. That means you can more easily identify potential problem areas when dealing with landlords.
What questions should you be asking?
Whether touring your potential apartment with the landlord, an agent, or a current tenant, be sure to ask plenty of questions. First of all, you obviously need to know the rent, which utilities you’ll be responsible for, and which appliances come with the apartment. Second, you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of any policies concerning pets, smoking, roommates, and your liability for any damage done to the apartment.
Finally, you’ll want to ask questions and do your own research about the area to make sure it’s a great place for you to live. Research the average rent prices and crime rates in the area, how far the drive will be to work or the grocery store, and how good the schools in the area are if you have kids or are planning to have kids. Bikeability and public transit access may also be important considerations depending on your lifestyle and where you live.
What should you look out for during the tour?
The most important step in choosing a new apartment is to inspect it yourself. Watch out for any water damage or mold, and test lights and water faucets if you can. You can get plenty of information from other people, but in the end, you’ll be the one living there, so your opinion is really the only one that matters. If you’re happy with the apartment and ready to go, you’re ready to take the next step: Figuring out everything you need to bring when you move in!