Getting an apartment is challenging. Where do you start? What questions should you ask? What amenities should you look for?

At times like these, getting an expert opinion can come in handy. Fortunately, Shop Rental Finder is an expert on helping people find apartments that are perfect for their needs. 

1. Use Shop Rental Finder- Congratulations you’ve got the first step right!. We are available pretty much everywhere in the local tri-state area. You can find our magazine in print, with pick up locations in Evansville, Newburgh, Boonville, Princeton and Chandler, Indiana. Owensboro and Henderson, KY.  Carbondale, IL (hint: click on each city for a distribution map). You can also get a copy on our home page! The Shop Rental Finder website also features neighborhood guides, where you can find cool information about the area you live. We’re also active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn), where we post about local businesses, apartment openings, local events, and sometimes even job openings. So check out our website and like us on social media and let your apartment hunting begin!

2. Shop Rental Finder also gives you the option of contacting apartment complexes directly. You can find phone numbers, email addresses, and even physical addresses so that you can go directly to a potential landlord and get your answers from the source. Which now begs the question: what questions should you be asking? (Hint: Keep reading to find out)

Questions for your potential landlord:

It helps to know if your budget is in the right place, so from the start ask about your fee to apply. That’s right, fee to apply, Before you do anything else, learn what you’ve got to put down up-front.

Before you put your money down, you need to know if you can even pass muster. That means asking about the approval criteria. Is there a credit score check required? Will you need a co-signer? Do you need a reference? All things that you need to know before you ever fill out an application or pay a fee.

Most apartments require a deposit, which may or may not be refundable depending on the apartment complex. However, the amount of the deposit also varies depending on the complex. It’s also important to know how your deposit will be used, and if it is refundable, what will keep it from being refunded.

Knowing the terms of your lease is essential so ask up front and don’t leave anything to chance. If you’re not sure about something ASK and make sure it is actually IN WRITING. Apartment complexes can have interesting rules and fines if the rules aren’t followed there can be serious consequences. Also there’s the matter of what is included in your payment, are utilities included, and if so what utilities are included?

What goes into signing a lease? Some property managers want you to pay all of your fees at signing, meaning deposits and sometimes even the first month’s rent.

Timing is everything, so talk move-in dates upfront. Also talk move out dates, know your limits ahead of time and once again, make sure it's IN WRITING.

Plan ahead, plan ahead, and say it with me, plan ahead! Make a checklist of everything before you pack your first box. Measure your furniture and make sure it will fit, write down everything you can think of and then ask your friends/family and write down what they think of. Then, walk through the checklist and make sure everything tracks before making a final decision.

Know the future terms of your lease. Sometimes you move somewhere and you LOVE it, which is great! But, that means renewing your lease, how do you do that? Does it cost anything? Once again, ASK and get it IN WRITING. But, what if you move in and it's not for you or COVID strikes and you have to move back home? That means breaking your lease. What would happen if you had to break your lease? Is there a fee? Will it affect your credit? You don’t know if you don’t ask, so ASK.

We all love our fur babies, but not all apartment complexes allow them. So if you do have pets or you’re planning on getting one, know what you’re getting yourself into. Also, check to see if there is a fee, those can be a surprise if you don’t ask about them beforehand.

That’s our list of things you HAVE to know and ask before moving into an apartment. Remember, Shop Rental Finder can help you with your apartment hunting needs. We give you ways to narrow down your search and contact property managers directly.

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Rental Finder Guide

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