There is plenty of information out there for people looking to purchase homes or condos, but what about Destin apartment rentals? Not everyone is interested in buying property. Sometimes renting makes the best sense. But if you’re not prepared, you could end up getting stuck in a lease that makes the next 6 months to a year a complete nightmare. Before you begin apartment hunting, consider the following suggestions.
Work with a Real Estate Agent
The biggest misconception out there is that Realtors are only for people interested in purchasing properties. In reality, real estate agents help thousands of clients every year find the perfect apartment to fit their needs. Real estate agents know about available rental units before they hit the Internet or are featured in those apartment hunting booklets you find at the grocery store. They can have insider knowledge that can be extremely beneficial to your apartment search.
Another thing that a real estate can do for you is negotiate the price of the rental unit. Many first-time and seasoned renters do not realize that rental prices are negotiable. This is especially true if you’re working with an owner who may be renting his or her second house or vacation property. But even if you’re working with a management company and looking at renting in an apartment complex, there is still room for negotiation. In addition to discussing rent, real estate agents can help you negotiate free or reduced parking, security deposits, and length of the lease.
Walk through the Apartment
Pictures online and downloadable floor plans are not enough to help you make a decision. Walking through the rental unit gives you a feel of the space and can bring to light potential problems such as noisy neighbors, street traffic, or a lack of outdoor space.
Are you searching for an apartment from a long distance? If you’re moving to a new city and can’t travel to view the rental you’re considering, ask a friend or family member who lives in the city to walk through the rental for you. Technology can even help you be a part of the walk-through thanks to various smartphone and tablet apps. At the very least, hire a real estate agent to walk through the unit for you and give you their professional feedback.
Protect Your Rights and Get Everything in Writing
It goes without saying that the agreement between you and the landlord should always be put in writing. Verbal agreements over rent amounts, pets, lease terms, and other important aspects of renting should never be considered good enough. A written contract with the management firm’s or the owner’s information should be signed before keys are handed over.
In this contract, make sure your rights as the tenant are clearly stated. One of the most common causes of landlord/tenant disputes is over privacy rights. Landlords do have a right to enter the premises under certain situations, but these circumstances are very specific and usually only if it is a case of a safety or violation of the law.
Buy Renter’s Insurance
Because renters do not own the physical property, they often forgo seeking renter’s insurance. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the personal items that you have within the walls of your rental unit are valuable. You may have equipment for work, priceless paintings, or expensive furniture. If a fire would occur or a weather-related event would destroy your belongings, not only are you out a place to live, but you’ll have to use your own money to replace your belongings. Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive and a must-have for all renters.
Following these tips when you begin your search for Destin apartment rentals will make the process easier and a lot less stressful.