As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

What should I ask about these apartments?

LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, Im moving into an apartment this summer (which is apparently way far away in apartment standards) and me and the guy Im movin with have been looking around, basically getting prices and looking at the rooms. We don't really know what we're doing, I mean, we go, we ask about co-signers (both full time students) What all is included in the price they give us, if there is an age restriction (Im 21, but my buddy wont be 21 till like a week before we move in), what all comes with the place (appliances and such).

So what should we be asking about? We still have plenty of time, but neither of us want to be stuck in a crappy apartment because we didnt ask the right questions.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Lardalish on

Posts

  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited January 2007
    Find out if electricity/water is included. Is there a lease or is it month-to-month. What kind of security deposit will be required.

    DaySleeper on
    magnum%20pi%20ferrari.jpeg
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • TSU0999TSU0999 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Do any of you guys play musical instruments? You might want to make sure you can bring them in.

    How about animals? You plan on having any pets besides those that can be contained within an aquarium? Also ask how much more of a deposit you'll need if you end up brining in a pet, and sometimes they charge you more per month.

    Also ask to see anything that they have printed on the rules they have.

    That's really all I can really remember atm.

    TSU0999 on
    ironmansig.png
  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ok, so we asked about utilities (most places dont include anything, thats expected), We need to ask about the lease (month to month or year), Security deposits were on the info sheets they gave us, my roommate plays the drums but he probly wont be bringing them (they arent in the apt we're in now, he's rigged up some pillows for the base pedal and then he has those drummer pads to drum on), we dont have any pets, and Ill remember to ask about a printout of the rules or something.

    Thanks guys! Keep the info comin!

    Lardalish on
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Lardalish wrote:
    Ok, so we asked about utilities (most places dont include anything, thats expected), We need to ask about the lease (month to month or year), Security deposits were on the info sheets they gave us, my roommate plays the drums but he probly wont be bringing them (they arent in the apt we're in now, he's rigged up some pillows for the base pedal and then he has those drummer pads to drum on), we dont have any pets, and Ill remember to ask about a printout of the rules or something.

    Thanks guys! Keep the info comin!

    Asked about what internet provider they have? I know it was a make or break deal for me when apartment shopping, since the DSL out here blows, had to find a place with the good old cable internet. Most apartment complexes are only set up with one ISP, sometimes two, so it's good to ask before you move in and get stuck with dial up. :P

    Aurin on
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited January 2007
    I don't know if either of you drive but find out about parking fees for one or two cars (can be quite steep depending on where you live). If you can, talk to somebody who lives there already and find out how good the landlord is about maintenance stuff. You won't be able to do anything about it but it can sometimes come as a bit of a shock to wait 3 weeks for somebody to come fix your toilet.

    DaySleeper on
    magnum%20pi%20ferrari.jpeg
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Aurin wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    snip

    Asked about what internet provider they have? I know it was a make or break deal for me when apartment shopping, since the DSL out here blows, had to find a place with the good old cable internet. Most apartment complexes are only set up with one ISP, sometimes two, so it's good to ask before you move in and get stuck with dial up. :P


    You know, I think they said htey had hookups and we pay it seperately but thats about all we asked about. Ill ask somethin more detailed when we go back.

    Didn't ask about parking, Ill make sure to do that also.

    Not sure how I'll go about talking to someone who lives there, but Ill see what I can do.

    Lardalish on
  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Went through this many times over the years going to school, so here are some pointers:

    1. Ask to see a copy of the rental application and lease. 99% of the questions you have will be answered within these documents. You'll also be able to see if the landlord has tried to slip in any extra bullshit past you.

    For instance, where I live it is the law to pay your tenants a % interest on their security deposit. One of my landlords had blacked out that line on the lease, thinking "I don't want to pay interest on the deposit." Well, tough shit buddy. Basically, what I'm saying is the landlord can put ANYTHING he wants on that lease, but if it doesn't comply with the housing tribunal in your area it doesn't go.

    2. You are going to have to sign a lease. Unless you are subletting, landlords don't like month-month leases because there is no security. To be honest, you shouldn't like them either. You could be on your ass in 60 days with no reason what-so-ever if the landlord wanted, unless you are protected under a lease.

    3. What exactly does your rent include? You most likely will have to pay utilities (gas, electric, water, depending on your area) but there are also little fees like "hot water heater rental" "building fees" "parking fees" and all sorts of shit that can get thrown in there. Find this out beforehand because it could add up and make that 'perfect' apartment totally unaffordable.

    4. What is the laundry situation? Is there a laundry facility in the building? How much does it cost? Who has access to it? You may want to take your laundry to a laundramat if theres 1 washer 1 dryer for a building of 100 apts.

    5. When is moving allowed? Most buildings only allow moving on certain days of the week--you may have to coordinate your move to this.

    6. Security. Is there a buzzer or can anyone can into the lobby? Is there a security camera accessible from your room? Many appts these days have a special channel on your TV that taps into the camera in the lobby so you can see who you are buzzing in.

    7. Last thing I can think of: after you talk to the landlord, come back later and talk to the neighbours. Just knock on their door at a decent time and ask if they like the place. Tell them you're interested in moving in next door to them, they are likely to be cooperative because you'll be their new next-door neighbour and you'll have to put up with each other. This sis where you learn the most valuable info---roof leaks, noise complaints, landlord complaints, hidden problems, etc etc etc etc.

    Hope this helped.

    Nswyers on
  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Lardalish wrote:
    Aurin wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    snip

    Asked about what internet provider they have? I know it was a make or break deal for me when apartment shopping, since the DSL out here blows, had to find a place with the good old cable internet. Most apartment complexes are only set up with one ISP, sometimes two, so it's good to ask before you move in and get stuck with dial up. :P


    You know, I think they said htey had hookups and we pay it seperately but thats about all we asked about. Ill ask somethin more detailed when we go back.

    Didn't ask about parking, Ill make sure to do that also.

    Not sure how I'll go about talking to someone who lives there, but Ill see what I can do.

    Most of the time the landlords dont deal with your ISP/phone/TV. Thats all up to you. You can get whatever ISP you want most of the time, so I don't thnk you need to worry about that.

    Nswyers on
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Nswyers wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    Aurin wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    snip

    Asked about what internet provider they have? I know it was a make or break deal for me when apartment shopping, since the DSL out here blows, had to find a place with the good old cable internet. Most apartment complexes are only set up with one ISP, sometimes two, so it's good to ask before you move in and get stuck with dial up. :P


    You know, I think they said htey had hookups and we pay it seperately but thats about all we asked about. Ill ask somethin more detailed when we go back.

    Didn't ask about parking, Ill make sure to do that also.

    Not sure how I'll go about talking to someone who lives there, but Ill see what I can do.

    Most of the time the landlords dont deal with your ISP/phone/TV. Thats all up to you. You can get whatever ISP you want most of the time, so I don't thnk you need to worry about that.

    Some of them do.

    My current apartment complex, for example, I can have Cox internet and cable TV. My old apartment complex, I could choose between Cox and Qwest. Some of the other apartment complexes I checked at, only supported Qwest or another company I can't remember the name of.

    Either way, it's always good to check, so you don't get screwed.

    Aurin on
  • PitselehPitseleh Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I sell apartments in Chicago, here are a few tips.

    **Only look at MOST two months in advance, most/all places are looking to get their apartment rented sooner or later, so if you find a place available now but you're moving in the summer, you are most likely not going to get it.

    **Only buy a place with new windows. Your gas/heat bill in the winter is going to get horrendous if you have awful insulation.

    **Check the water pressure/ask where the pipes are. Turn on faucets, turn on the shower, make sure you get great pressure.

    **Ask why the previous tenants moved out, you're more than in your right to get information on the apartment.

    **Make sure the bathroom is in good shape. The key in all apartments is shockingly enough, the bathroom. If it's a nice bathroom, it' a great apartment. As simple as that.

    Pitseleh on
  • Recoil42Recoil42 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'm going to go ahead and ask my semi-related question in this thread, rather than making a new one: My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving into an apartment together next semester.

    Now, the thing is... two people, but obviously, we only need one room.

    So like... best way I can put the overarching question; I can rent one room but for two people fine, right?

    Or rather, can anyone else who has been in this situation just help me out, outline it for me?

    Recoil42 on
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited January 2007
    Recoil42 wrote:
    I'm going to go ahead and ask my semi-related question in this thread, rather than making a new one: My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving into an apartment together next semester.

    Now, the thing is... two people, but obviously, we only need one room.

    So like... best way I can put the overarching question; I can rent one room but for two people fine, right?

    Or rather, can anyone else who has been in this situation just help me out, outline it for me?

    It'll probably depend on the person from whom you're renting. Are you looking for a one-room apartment or a room & board sort of thing?

    DaySleeper on
    magnum%20pi%20ferrari.jpeg
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ok, great information. As for talking about specific apartment issuses (pressure, leaky roofs, and stuff of that nature) we arent looking for a specific place yet, we're looking for the complex that seems to be the best. We're right next to a large city and a university so there are thirty thousand complexes around here. We're basically trying to narrow it down so we only have maybe, 5 or 6 to look at and get these specific questions answered.

    Lardalish on
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    DaySleeper wrote:
    Recoil42 wrote:
    I'm going to go ahead and ask my semi-related question in this thread, rather than making a new one: My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving into an apartment together next semester.

    Now, the thing is... two people, but obviously, we only need one room.

    So like... best way I can put the overarching question; I can rent one room but for two people fine, right?

    Or rather, can anyone else who has been in this situation just help me out, outline it for me?

    It'll probably depend on the person from whom you're renting. Are you looking for a one-room apartment or a room & board sort of thing?

    And most apartments have a maximum occupancy, the apartment complex I'm in, maximum occupancy for my one bedroom apartment is two people, for me and my husband. So it's something to look at, most have it posted, and I wouldn't see where they would have a problem with two people living in a one bedroom, unless maybe it's the size of a closet.

    Aurin on
  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Recoil42 wrote:
    I'm going to go ahead and ask my semi-related question in this thread, rather than making a new one: My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving into an apartment together next semester.

    Now, the thing is... two people, but obviously, we only need one room.

    So like... best way I can put the overarching question; I can rent one room but for two people fine, right?

    Or rather, can anyone else who has been in this situation just help me out, outline it for me?

    The only time you'll likely find a problem with 1bdr with 2 people is a student geared apt that is basically a flat. Maximum occupancy might only be 1 based on the square footage.

    I'd recommend considering a 2 bedroom anyway, just to have a bit more space. I'm moving out in Sept with my GF and we're most likely getting a 2bdr.. 1 for the bedroom and the other for an office type thing. She's a teacher and I'm in journalism, so it'll come in handy for work and to get out of each other's hair.

    Nswyers on
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    If you can't find a friendly neighbor to talk to about maintenance speed, noise levels, etc., try Googling the apartment's name and your city and state and looking for apartment rating sites. That was how we found out about our current place's batshit general manager, and then figured out that you really just have to watch your ass and get everything in writing--most complaints were from people who'd broken their lease or left food out for critters to get at, so be sure to take everything with a few chunks of salt.

    I'd fully expect to have to get co-signers, and I'll also add that apartments around here do pay a few utilities each: my last place had free water, trash, and cable/Internet, while I have to pay electricity and cable bills here. Laundry is a vital concern; this might sound funny, but what we like about this place is the high concentration of families and older couples instead of so many goddamn students, who make a lot of noise and drink and have sex on the lawn while you're trying to study and/or get some sleep. Higher rent may be cancelled out by paid utilities or a nice environment, so keep that in mind. Best of luck.

    Aoi Tsuki on
  • CircularCircular Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Perhaps a relatively minor point, but check the ventilation in the bathroom(s). A window is good, a powerful fan is also okay. If the bathroom is poorly ventilated you'll end up having to put significant effort into mildew control. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker--it's not really that hard to use one of the anti-mildew sprays--but it's worth thinking about.

    Circular on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Circular wrote:
    Perhaps a relatively minor point, but check the ventilation in the bathroom(s). A window is good, a powerful fan is also okay. If the bathroom is poorly ventilated you'll end up having to put significant effort into mildew control. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker--it's not really that hard to use one of the anti-mildew sprays--but it's worth thinking about.

    I'll second this one. Our bathroom has absolutely horrid ventilation (a small window that has to be taped shut in the summer to prevent hornets from getting inside [useless maintenance crew], and it's too cold to open in the winter). The ceiling has been covered with mold before, which we have had to clean... the landlord insisted it was our responsibility (after checking on it, it is in fact theirs, but that's another issue). It's a pain in the ass, so check on ventilation.

    Along with that on maintenance related issues, check the doorknobs and see how much they jiggle. Look under sink drains for any discoloration on the floors. Check the ceilings for any paint that is colored slightly differently from the rest. Stand near the windows looking for drafts. Open the fridge and look at the shelves (same with the freezer). Check for cracks or drafts from any door leading outside (we have had problems with ants in the past... dirt lot out back + cracks in the kitchen door).

    I'm on a wild tangent here because my fiancee and I are in a fight right now making sure we can get our security deposit back. Ensure you read your lease about any additional deposits that might be required, and ensure that you stick to them... for instance, we had to pay an extra $100 for each of our cats as a security deposit, which they are now saying was just a fee.

    As stated already, read everything carefully, talk to the neighbors, and if you have a decent police department in the area, check with them for how often there are calls to the street you'll be moving on to. The nicest apartment in the world becomes shit if the neighbors are constantly getting visits from the fuzz.

    /ramble

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    guys, I too have a question, I am going to chance putting it here, rather than creating a new thread


    I'm in college and I'm moving into an apartment next year with 3 other people, and I have 2 choices for a place


    Choice 1:

    4BR/3Bath, one floor
    1525 sqr feet
    Bedrooms = 13'2" X 10"0" , 10'6" X 12'0" , 11'8" X 11'0" , 11'4" X 12'4"
    Has a kitchen
    Washer/Dryer
    2 porches (3 of us smoke)
    They're refurnishing the entire place, so it'll come with a plasma bigscreen in the living room and fully furnished with new wallpaper, tiling, carpets, the works.
    Rates are 545, 475, 475, 455 per month individual leases
    250 down, 100 nonrefundable and 1st month's rent due at signing
    Utilities are all included mostly. Internet/basic Cable + HBO
    Up to a 50 dollar limit on electricity/water, if you go over the 50 dollars included in the rent, you pay the extra.
    Pretty good neighborhood, semi-gated community. Lots of college kids
    Tends to be burglarized a little


    Choice 2:

    4BR/2Bath, 2 floors
    1600 sqr feet
    Bedrooms = 16'0" X 13"0" , 10'6" X 10'8" , 12'8" X 10'0" , 10'0" X 10'6"
    Has a kitchen
    Washer/Dryer
    2 porches (3 of us smoke)
    Not furnished, but we have the furnishings mostly covered if need be, save for my own bed and a desk/chair
    Rate is 1320 a month group lease
    300 down, 100 nonrefundable nonrefundable and 1st month's rent due at signing
    No utilities but "cable ready"
    More of a family setting, some college kids. Tends to burglarize Choice 1


    both minutes from campus

    Raneados on
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited January 2007
    I think I'd go with the first choice and see about some added security in the form of additional locks or similar.

    DaySleeper on
    magnum%20pi%20ferrari.jpeg
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Unless you plan on spending over $600/month on utilities, I'd totally go with choice 2. Just buy your own plasma TV if you really want one, you get to keep it after you move that way.

    Draco_Auric on
    brick2jv6.jpg
  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Unless you plan on spending over $600/month on utilities, I'd totally go with choice 2. Just buy your own plasma TV if you really want one, you get to keep it after you move that way.

    330 +no utilities a month vs 475+ full utilities

    where'd you get this 600 thing from?

    Raneados on
  • Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Raneados wrote:
    Unless you plan on spending over $600/month on utilities, I'd totally go with choice 2. Just buy your own plasma TV if you really want one, you get to keep it after you move that way.

    330 +no utilities a month vs 475+ full utilities

    where'd you get this 600 thing from?

    The total difference in the rent is 630 dollars, that's where I got the 600 thing from.

    Draco_Auric on
    brick2jv6.jpg
  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Raneados wrote:
    Unless you plan on spending over $600/month on utilities, I'd totally go with choice 2. Just buy your own plasma TV if you really want one, you get to keep it after you move that way.

    330 +no utilities a month vs 475+ full utilities

    where'd you get this 600 thing from?

    The total difference in the rent is 630 dollars, that's where I got the 600 thing from.
    that is quite a place to get the 600 from

    I'm really leaning towards option 1, it just seemed like a nicer place, and people are living both complexes so I can't get a walk-through

    D:

    Raneados on
  • Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Raneados wrote:
    Raneados wrote:
    Unless you plan on spending over $600/month on utilities, I'd totally go with choice 2. Just buy your own plasma TV if you really want one, you get to keep it after you move that way.

    330 +no utilities a month vs 475+ full utilities

    where'd you get this 600 thing from?

    The total difference in the rent is 630 dollars, that's where I got the 600 thing from.
    that is quite a place to get the 600 from

    I'm really leaning towards option 1, it just seemed like a nicer place, and people are living both complexes so I can't get a walk-through

    D:

    Yeah, comparing the total costs for you and your friends is totally out of left field, not sure why I brought that up. :roll:

    But seriously if they wont let you see either place something weird is up. I'd either skip them all together, or just drop by and ask the people that are currently living there about the place. It's always surprising what people will give you when you ask.

    Draco_Auric on
    brick2jv6.jpg
Sign In or Register to comment.