apr Yes it’s that time of the year! Spring break?! No, no, not yet you silly. Apartment hunting!

As you may or may not know, now’s a good time to be looking for apartments as leasing contracts approach their end towards the summer. For those you already hunting for your next humble abode, the city is trying to crack down on people like Lakireddy Bali Reddy, who might make your experience living in an apartment miserable if not potentially fatal. Though crooks like Reddy are not that common, the ASUC Renter’s Legal Assistance site is a great resource to brush up on some knowledge to protect yourself against scamming landlords.

Most of you won’t have to deal with shady folks looking for apartments, but here are some tips from the Clog to help you out!

Two essential things we’d say about apartments are roommates and “The Checklist.” We’ll explain what “The Checklist” is in a bit. Deciding roommates is actually really important because they are going to be the people you are living with 24/7. Of course, living together entails stronger relationships, but habits you normally don’t see in a friend might come to bite you in the rear. So make sure you know who you’re living with more than superficially. Here’s a pretty big clue: if you only know his/her name and see him/her occasionally in class, that person may not be the best choice. But other than that, prepare to have an adventure!

Now, here’ s “The Checklist” we were talking about. Not all landlords are courteous enough to tell you crucial details about your future living space. Here are some key elements to ask and look out for in your search.

  • What’s the length of the lease?
  • How much is the rent?
  • Security deposit or other up-front payments?
  • Typical rent increases?
  • Turnover rate?
  • Late fees or other penalties?
  • What appliances are included? (This one’s usually really important)
  • What are the tenants responsible for?
  • Who are the internet providers?
  • Who can I call for maintenance?

Some of these questions may come as common sense, but getting caught up in searching for apartments can leave some people not thinking straight. Meet together with your roommates and make checklists! Discuss furniture issues and sleep patterns. It’s also helpful when you apply for a place to submit a bio page with names, images and mini-bios about the people in your group! All this advice may seem overwhelming, but trust us, it makes moving a lot less of a hassle in the long run.

Good luck finding apartments!

Image source: anirvan under Creative Commons

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