With sky-high rents and very few affordable options, the rental market in most big cities like San Francisco and New York currently favors landlords. When you find that perfect place, it’s easy to get overly excited and not examine critical details that will greatly affect your life there. That's why when you come across an apartment that is exactly what you’re looking for, you might be inclined to sign the papers immediately. But before you do, Money reports, there are 10 things you should check out. Be sure to look into these things before you rent your new home.
- Security. Is the building safe? Do the locks work? Does the buzzer entry system function? Find out how you let people in. Is there a code, or is it connected to your phone?
- Cleanliness. Peeling paint in the hallways, black mold in the bathroom, trash around the building—these are signs that the landlord could be neglecting some of his duties. This could potentially be a problem when you need something fixed or replaced in your apartment.
- Elevator. The inspection sticker should be up to date in all building elevators.
- Water pressure. Flush the toilet and turn on the shower and all the faucets. Make sure the water pressure is strong, and let the water run until it’s hot.
- Heat and air conditioning. Ensure that both are in good working condition with the landlord.
- Major appliances. Turn on the stove and inspect the inside of the refrigerator. If you have a dishwasher or washer and dryer, make sure these are functioning properly. Inquire as to the age of certain appliances—older items could cost more to run.
- Laundry. Be sure to check out the shared laundry facilities.
- Noise level. Try and hang around in the apartment for longer than just a quick 10 minutes. This way, you’ll start to notice if a nearby subway or intense traffic will rattle the windows.
- Windows and emergency exits. There should be no broken glass, and windows should be able to lock from the inside. Exits should not be blocked by other renters' belongings.
- Parking. Find out if there is parking on the premises, and ask if there is a space available (and how much extra it will be). Then visit the parking garage to ensure it’s safe.
Keep your new apartment in tip-top shape by cleaning it regularly with this vacuum.
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