Renting an apartment is a great way to formulate your independence and prepare you for home ownership one day. It’s not just important to find an apartment you love or a property owner you get along with — it is about taking responsibility. Unfortunately, most renters assume there is no responsibility requirement for them — until they lose their security deposit or are kicked out. So if you’re new to renting, make sure you avoid these common new renter mistakes.
Going Crazy with Personalization
Yeah, it’s your apartment. But, if you spend hours and hundreds of dollars decorating, how much will that benefit you when you move out? Painting your apartment could be allowed, but some landlords require you to paint it back to a neutral color when you move out. All of those nail holes you put in the wall could be deducted from your security deposit too. So, keep the decorations simple and remember you’re just here during your lease — not forever.
Not Taking the Time to Secure Your Unit
You’re a renter, true, but you still own everything inside your apartment. Always lock your doors and make sure your windows are tight and secure. It’s not your property manager’s job to protect the inside of your apartment once you sign the lease — it’s your own.
Being Careless with Care of the Apartment
You might not have to replace the carpet or worry about stains on the counters— after all, you’re renting right? —But being careless with your unit will cost you big in the end. Not only could you lose your entire security deposit, but the landlord could take you to court for excess damages. Treat your apartment as if it were your own home.
Ignoring the Need for Renter’s Insurance
Renter’s insurance is ridiculously cheap — less than $10 per month. It is a necessity for anyone renting, because if your apartment is broken into, it’s on you; not the landlord. You take the time to insure everything else, so insure your personal belongings while you’re at it.
Not Doing Your Chores
Back when you lived with the folks, you had a list of chores and to-do’s that were monitored. It’s easy to let things go once you’re on your own. But, cleaning your apartment consistently will make it easier when it comes time to move out.
Not Notifying Your Manager About Issues
Got a leaky faucet? Dishwasher broke? If you don’t tell the property manager about these issues right away, they could hold you accountable for them. Report issues as soon as they occur and request repair so that you aren’t stuck with the bill.
If you’ve already committed one or a few of these rookie mistakes don’t worry. Now is the time to take responsibility for your new freedom, maintain your apartment, and prepare yourself for home-ownership one day.