Searching for the perfect apartment isn't as easy as simply finding a listing and showing up. In fact, walking blindly into showings of apartments for rent could mean losing your security deposit, getting fined, and possibly being left without a place to stay. If you're uncertain of how to tell the difference between a rental scam and a legitimate apartment that is available, you need to explore what kinds of steps you can take towards getting an apartment without any unexpected problems arising.
Bring a Friend or Family Member Along
If you're excited to see an apartment for rent and in a hurry to secure the rental, you may not have the same guards up as someone not involved would. This can often lead to you looking over potential red flags and settling on an apartment that has significant problems or has a shady landlord. The easiest way to avoid this from becoming an issue is bringing along a friend or family member that you trust. Their insight can help you spot potential problems and deter you from apartments which may be a scam.
Request to See the Specific Unit, Not a Similar One
A common way that you may end up with an apartment that doesn't fit what you initially had hoped for is being shown an apartment that doesn't match the one you're going to be living in. Some apartment landlords or managers will show potential tenants to a nicer unit for the showing, then switch your apartment to one that isn't remodeled or has other issues.
By requesting to see the unit that you will be renting, you can give it a thorough look before deciding.
Security Deposit or Upfront Fees Seem Too High
While most apartments will require a security deposit and even some upfront fees, such as an application fee, pet rental fees, and even parking fees, you need to be aware of what the typical prices are. While this highly depends on the unit, the neighborhood, and especially the rental price point, you can get a good idea of what you should be paying by comparing several apartments for rent.
Listen to Your Instincts if Something Feels Off
Another important thing you'll want to keep in mind when checking out different apartments is following your instincts. Too often, people will choose an apartment without focusing on how they feel about it. By listening to your instincts, you can avoid apartments that give you a bad feeling and help you avoid being scammed.
Apartment searching requires special care to ensure that you end up with a rental that you'll be happy with, making the ability to spot scams an important quality to have.