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5 tips for taking an apartment on rent

Last updated on: October 27, 2010 08:25 IST

5 tips for taking an apartment on rent

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The job of looking for apartment for rent is not what you would call fun. However, if you know what you exactly want and where to look, you will find that it's not as bad as you thought. In fact, with these tips you may even start enjoying it.

Decide what you are looking for

It requires a good amount of time and effort to select the right apartment, especially when you are new to the city. First decide what you are looking for.

Is your need work location-based? Or is it based on rent? Are you looking for a particular neighborhood? Do you have a large family? Do you need to be near your children's school? Do you have pets that need to be accommodated too?

For whatever reason you are looking to move to an accommodation, do make a note of all your requirements before you make your final choice.

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Put a priority list for the features

Basically, your needs and desires are the first priority when you look for your apartment. You may not find an apartment that fits all your needs and requirements, but there is no harm in creating a list to help you.

It is not feasible to compromise your lifestyle in a hurry to rent an apartment. For example, many apartments are old and traditional buildings with no facilities like lifts.

In case you are on the fifth floor and have aged people staying with you, it would be a strenuous task of climbing all those steps. So, it's advisable to know the apartment well before you choose it.

Other facilities to be taken note of include the number of rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, proper ventilation, security arrangements, water supply, maintenance facilities, a good view etc.

And don't forget to enquire on its pet-friendliness if you have one.

On listing out your priorities in the apartment, the next thing you have to do is to cross out the things you can live without. This way, in case you need to forgo something, at least it will be at the bottom of the list.

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Make a personal tour

A personal tour is absolutely crucial, even if it is recommended by your best friend.

This is because only you know what exactly will make you comfortable in your house, what difficulties you have faced in the place you lived earlier etc.

Go from room to room, preferably with your family and let each one state their opinions. This way you will not miss out on anything.

Inspect the property carefully. If there's any damage, ask the owner to fix it so that you are not blamed for it later. Make sure such problem areas are addressed in a lease, so that either you agree to live with it, or the landlord agrees to fix it by a certain date.

Check out common walls (walls shared with adjoining apartments). The more walls in common, the greater the chance of noise from next door. Also consider a common entrance in terms of how much privacy you may want.

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Figure out market value of the place you plan to take on rent

There are several ways you can obtain this information. If you are considering going through brokers they can provide you with fair market value rents in your choice area. Doing your own analysis also makes excellent sense.

The Internet is the most convenient and accessible way to locate the fair market value of rent for your apartment. Several portals provide a generic idea of rental rates.

It is important to remember that fair market rents will vary depending on the location of the property. Different neighborhoods demand higher or lower rates. As they say in real estate, "location is everything".

The best way to check out whether you are getting the best value, go through advertisements of similar apartments in similar locations.

Once all this is done check if your rent can be accommodated in the budget and still leave room for other expenses - saving, entertainment, leisure and if need be the flexibility to pay for an EMI as well.

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Legal issues - Read the clauses of the contract with extreme care

And now, for one of the most important things. Before you settle down with your decision to rent the apartment, you need to look carefully at the contract and at the clauses stipulated in it.

People taking apartments on rent sometimes sign blindly and never get to know what they signed for.

Because of this, disputes arise and sometimes they do not even know that they have foregone their right to protest once the contract is signed!

So you need to pay proper attention to the requirements, read everything carefully and only then, put your signature on the piece of paper.

Happy house-hunting!

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