It can be super exciting when you rent an apartment and move in. But it’s not always a joyride, as it could be nerve-racking and time-consuming. Due to desperate situations while in search of a new apartment, many people sometimes fail to give it proper inspection, and regret not doing so later on.
To save you from heartache when you want to rent an apartment, below are eight (8) helpful tips to have in mind while you apartment-hunt.
Type of property
Whether you are looking to lease a flat, an office or a whole building, it is important and advisable that you determine the size and amount of space you want. Is it a single room, a mini flat (a room and parlour self-contained), 2bedroom flat, 3, 4 bedrooms, or a duplex? Obviously, if you are renting an apartment for only yourself, the size you’d have in mind will be different from when you are looking to rent a flat for your family. This means ‘getting your priority right’. It will afford the comfort of planning the finances required for the leasing.
This is an important detail you must consider while renting an apartment. What is your choice location? What kind of people live there? Does it meet your standards? Is it susceptible to flooding? Is there network coverage? These are questions you must answer before moving in.
You may consider consulting friends and families who stay around your preferred location to seek their opinion about the neighbourhood. You may also want to know if you will be close to essential shops and services, you’ll be needing if you move into the location.
Budget / Price
After you have come up with your location, figuring the rental price range is the next step and this can be done by asking yourself questions like: how much am I willing to spend per annum on an apartment? How much would be the agent’s commission? Can my financial status afford me the luxury of going higher? Answering these questions puts you in a position where you avoid unnecessary financial constraints. That means that with a budget in view, you are able to avoid financial pitfalls that can leave you indebted.
Once you are done sorting out your preferred location and budget, another important factor you should consider is your location’s proximity to important places.
You may want to consider how close the apartment is to your office. This is imperative so you won’t be incurring overly high transportation cost on a daily basis and also end up feeling burned out at the end of each day as a result of traffic or long-distance drives, especially in cities like Lagos.
If you have children, you might want to consider the distance between their schools and the apartment. it is not just enough to rent an apartment; you must also consider how the standard of living can become better as a result of the place you choose to live.
The truth is that when you rent an apartment out of desperation, you risk being dissatisfied in the long run.
Environment / Security
When looking to rent an apartment, it is advisable that you check out the apartment during the day as well as in the evenings for security reasons. With this, you can get to see the environs in the day when most people are out and about their businesses as well as in the evenings when most of them are getting back. You may need to inspect the roads for potholes and a good drainage system. You don’t want to end up fixing the shocks of your car every month due to bad roads, or have to suddenly pack out from the apartment due to frequent flooding.
It is sine qua non that you find also out how secure the environment is and even the property itself. Check if the doors and windows are vulnerable. What of the neighbourhood, immediate surroundings? Check if the fences and walls are secure, and ask if there are records of armed robbers terrorizing the area.
One of the reasons we prefer some locations to others while renting an apartment is availability of basic amenities such as water, electricity, etc, that would better our lives. It is therefore important to find out if there is a steady electricity supply and access to clean water in the location before securing the apartment. You may also need to consider if there is any hospital or medical facility around just in case of an emergency.
Most tenants are guilty of signing or agreeing to certain things without reading or getting a proper understanding of the document or asking the right questions. It is therefore advisable that you read carefully and thoroughly before signing anything. Imagine a tenancy agreement that states you can’t receive visitors etc. isn’t that ridiculous? But you are likely going to assent to such because you are likely not going to read the agreement papers out of desperation. So, it is important you read all the documents very well. Most importantly, a proper agreement should be stated for a 3- or 6-month notice before termination of tenancy – many have since suffered cruelty at the hands of landlords on this point.
Meet the landlord
As much as it is common to deal with agents when searching for homes, it’s advisable to meet with the legitimate property owner to avoid falling victim to scammers. It’s very important to have some basic information about the landlord.