The independence of renting your first apartment is exciting, but don’t let your enthusiasm rule out the reason. Being a first-time tenant is challenging and requires responsibility. Before you start looking at apartments, take some time to define your needs and calculate a budget. Add up all your monthly income, including financial aid, and multiply this number by 0.3. The resulting value is 30% of your monthly income and roughly the amount you can comfortably spend on rent. Only consider apartments for rent that cost close to this number. Now, do you have any pets? Are you open to a roommate? Which services do you prefer? Do you have your own transport or will you have to walk to class? Ask yourself questions like these and stay within your budget to narrow down your options. Once you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, start your apartment search. The best place to start is at your college or university. Many schools offer affordable off-campus living, and most will at least have resources to help you with your research. You can also search for apartments for rent in ads posted on campus or by using some of the many online services, as well as newspaper ads. Make a list of the rentals that interest you and call each leasing office. Ask about rent, utilities, laundry, business areas and services and additional costs. This will likely eliminate some of your options. Once your list is narrowed down to around five properties, you’re ready to start looking.
Visiting the apartment can be fun and exciting, but it is important to focus and pay attention to the unit and the complex as a whole. To stay on track, make a list of things to look for in each place. If you don’t want to make your own, there are pre-formatted checklists available online. Never rent an apartment before you’ve checked basic safety standards and made sure everything is working properly. Check for fire alarms, water heaters, air conditioners, fireplaces, showers and faucets. Make sure all appliances are working and check floors and walls for scratches or tears. If there are no serious problems and you decide to move in, take note of any defects you have discovered and report them to the property manager. You don’t want to be blamed for something done by a previous tenant when you leave.
Once you’ve selected an apartment to apply for, it’s time to start the paperwork. As a first-time tenant, you will likely need a co-signer to provide apartments for rent in accra credit information. Be prepared to make a down payment equal to two months’ rent plus other expenses. Most apartment complexes charge a fee just for submitting an application, whether it is approved or not. Other additional costs include security deposits and pet fees. The two most important things to remember when looking for apartments for rent are: