If you are seeking positive changes in your life, a change of address may be in order. Maybe you want to move out and live on your own. Maybe you want to move for a job, a new relationship, continued education, or another major life event. Whether this is your first time seeking an apartment for rent or you have done it before, this process can be overwhelming. On this page, I outline some of the most basic steps that you can follow to find and successfully rent the right place for you.
Determine What You Can Spend
The first step in finding a new place to live is making sure that it will be an affordable and fiscally responsible move. Of course we all want to live in beautiful, luxurious apartments or homes, but it is important to make sure that you have a realistic budget so that you can truly afford your housing. Determine your monthly income, and then determine a portion of that income that you are comfortable putting towards housing. A good rule of thumb is that all of your essential living expenses should not add up to more than 50% of your income. So, if you make $3,000 a month, you shouldn’t spend more than $1,500 on rent, utilities, gas, groceries, and any other necessities.
Determine What You Want
Yes, you are on a budget, but it’s ok to have deal breakers when it comes to your housing. Is being in a safe neighborhood a concern? Do you want to be within a certain radius of your job or school? Do you need an outdoor space to relax in, like a courtyard or a small yard? Consider what it is that you really want so that you can narrow down your search.
Start Your Search
Once you know your budget and what you are looking for in an apartment, you can begin your search. You can use websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, or local sites to find what you are looking for. Keep promising spots in a spreadsheet or document where you can easily reference them.
It is also a good idea to visit the property for a tour if possible. Pictures online can be deceiving, and actually seeing an apartment can help you determine if it is the right fit for you.
Applying For an Apartment
Once you find a suitable place that fits your needs, it’s time to apply for your apartment! Many places will require you to fill out a rental application. Common information that is usually asked for on these applications include:
- Phone number.
- Current address.
- Photo ID.
- Information on your employment status and income.
- Background information.
- Pet information.
If the rental agency is asking for specific information, make sure to provide this as well.
Oftentimes, you will have to pay an application fee as well, so make sure that you budget for that. Also consider other moving expenses before you get too far in the application process to make sure that you have this money readily available. For example, you may need money for a security deposit, moving van, etc.
Also keep in mind that the rental agency may run a background check on you or look up your credit information. Credit score is an important consideration when people are finding tenants for apartments that they own because it is a common indication of financial security and a person’s ability to pay rent on time. In some cases, a landlord or rental agency may ask you to get a co-signer for the lease. Consider the pros and cons of this and if it is something you are willing to do.
Signing a Lease
It is always a good idea to have a lawyer look over a legal document before you sign it. If you can afford to consult a lawyer regarding the specifics of your lease and your legal obligations, you should consider doing so. If you need help with a lease, an apartment search, or finding other ways to improve your life, contact our office. One great option for a fresh start is getting a Connecticut pardon, and having a stable place to live and paying your rent will look great on your pardon application. We are happy to help you with this process.