4 Things Not To Do When Renting Your First Apartment

Posted on: 29 October 2014

If you are a first time apartment or home renter, or renting as a student, here are four things you definitely do not want to do. Doing these things can lead to costly repairs or just plain hassles down the road. Read on for tips on what not to do, and how you can handle these situations when they arise.

1. Painting/Repairs without Permission

Say you've just moved in to your first apartment or condo, and you hate the color of your bathroom. You want to paint it or maybe put up wallpaper. Do not go ahead and do it before checking it with your landlord. Sometimes, owners have no problems with you hanging large mirrors or paintings, but painting a whole room might make your landlord upset. Maybe he or she has plans to repaint it, or would like it done a certain way. It is always best to check first. 

The same thing goes for making minor repairs or updates to the place. Say you want to add a screen door. This may seem like something your landlord would probably be okay with, but it is always in your best interest to get permission to do it first. 

The same goes for refrigerator repair, or even winterizing the apartment. Discuss options for any repairs or updates with your landlord. He or she may want to do it him or herself. 

However, it's also possible that you could get a month's discount on rent or even work part of your rent off doing repairs or maintenance. This would also be a great topic to bring up with the owner. Landlords are usually swamped and could really use the extra help.

2. Staying Silent with the Landlord about Serious Problems

If you have a leaky faucet or mold in the corner of your shower, do not sit on such matters and think they will take care of themselves. They won't. You need to keep the lines of communication open with your landlord. Obviously, if your apartment bathroom is flooding or your roof has a hole in it, you need to call the landlord immediately. 

It is up to you to be aware of even the little aspects that could possibly go extremely wrong over time, such as mold, termites, any other infestations, or water damage. You may only be a renter, but you need to by hyper vigilant about making sure your dwelling is safe and functioning.

3. Calling the Landlord too Much

If you call your landlord for any little thing, he or she will get tired of you and may start to consciously ignore you or put you last on his or her list. If you hear a "funny noise" coming from your heater, or see a slight scuff or crack in a floorboard, save it for the next time you see your landlord. You need to make a responsible decision about the condition of your apartment and decide what constitutes an emergency.

No landlord would enjoy being called at four in the morning about something that could wait, such as a small drip from a faucet. Use some common sense and try to save any requests of that nature or complaints for a time when you will have the landlord's full attention. Try to communicate only during business hours. Try to be kind to your landlord, too. Kindness will get you farther with your landlord than constant harping and whining.

4. Keeping the Place Filthy

If you really want to live in a pig sty unfit for humans and tick your landlord off, never clean your apartment. For the most part, what you do in the place you rent with your hard-earned money is your business. But if you are living so filthily that you are attracting cockroaches or silverfish, you really need to think about what is good for you and fair to your landlord. 

Keep your place moderately to nicely clean, and everyone will be better off for it. Plus, your landlord will love you. If you do have pets of any kind, you need to be super careful to not let urine or pet-related smells become a permanent entity in your home. Think about it like this; if you were to move in directly after someone with your level of cleanliness moved out, would you want to live there?

These are some pointers of things not to do when renting a place to live. Remember if your landlord is happy, you will be more likely to be happy with your rental experience overall.


Talking With Your Real Estate Agent About Your Needs

If you are on a budget, it can be frustrating to discuss your home needs with a real estate agent. You might find yourself stumbling over wants and needs, trying to figure out what you can get for your money. I found myself in that situation ten years ago when we bought our first home, and it was really frustrating. Fortunately, I had a real estate agent that really took the time to figure out what I wanted. After helping us to track down the home of our dreams, I decided to go into real estate for myself. I want to help other people to learn more about real estate.

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