Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Renting an Apartment

Apartment Life | Jan 13, 2020


Black and brown Dachshund standing in box.
Black and brown Dachshund standing in box. Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Renting a new apartment is exciting. It’s a new beginning, a new place, and maybe an upgrade. Take it from us: it’s easy to let the excitement overshadow the details. We asked our Community Managers the common mistakes they see when people lease a new apartment, and they came up with a list of tips, which you can use to ensure that your new apartment experience stays a happy one.

Evaluate community management

An apartment community isn’t just about a building or a special price. It’s also about the people who will maintain your home and foster the community. You should feel valued by community leadership and trust them to have your back if there’s a problem. So read plenty of online reviews and if you can, ask current residents for their perspective.

Consider square footage and layout

A lot of residents think it’s all about square footage, but a 1000-square-foot home might have a better floor plan and better storage than a 1200-square-foot home. Don’t disqualify an apartment for rent based on square footage alone. Get a feel for the layout when you visit and bring a tape measure to loosely plan where your furniture might fit.


It’s unlikely that you’ll get everything on your wish list. After all, how many ground-floor apartments out there have lots of natural light, plenty of privacy, a view of the pool, and French doors? Come prepared with a list of wants. It’s fine to have one or two must-haves as well but be prepared to strike a balance on the others.

Understand the extra charges

Rent is just that, rent. You may also be responsible for utilities, parking, valet trash, etc. Come prepared with a monthly budget and double-check that all your expenses, rent and otherwise, fit within that budget. Ask your property managers about average utility costs, especially if you’re relocating cities, as utility charges can vary from region to region.

Read and ask questions

It’s one of those dad rules of thumb: always read before you sign. That especially goes for rental leases. Give the apartment lease an in-depth look and ask questions if there’s anything you don’t understand before you sign on the dotted line.

Roommate wisely

A lease is a legal document, and you don’t want to enter that kind of partnership with the wrong person. That said, make sure you seriously consider your roommate choice and understand how you are both equally responsible in a lease agreement.

Match community and lifestyle

Are you a non-smoker? Then don’t live in a place that allows smoking. Have a dog? Find a community with nice pet accommodations. Whatever you value in a lifestyle—privacy, silence, easy parking, etc.— find an apartment that reflects your lifestyle values.

We’re always here to help, so contact us if we can answer any other questions about finding the rental home of your dreams. Happy apartment hunting!