Red Flags to Watch Out while Apartment Hunting

Red Flags to Watch Out while Apartment Hunting

We all have our standards and preferences when it comes to choosing a place to live. While the advertising may lure you in, you should be careful of certain things before deciding to sign a lease in the apartment of your choice. If you are not careful, the deal you thought was a good idea can cause you a great loss. Here are some biggest red flags to watch out while you’re hunting for your future apartment:

read more about online apartment hunt for beginners here

Limited display of photos

We all know that the interesting point in every advertising is the pictures. We all need to see the visual of our future home. Landlords know that interesting photos help sell a place. It’s the first thing potential renters will look at before checking out the features and price. If the property shows only 1 to 2 photos on their webpage, don’t even bother to pay a visit. Sometimes, some properties might showcase several photos, but most of them are pictures of the neighborhood and there are again, only 1 or 2 photos of the property. This is an obvious sign that the landlord is hiding something. The unit might be in a terrible condition, it’s tiny and moist, or it has other problems they don’t want you to know until you get there. 

Too cheap to be true

You might fall in love at first sight when you see an interesting apartment at an affordable price. However, do not forget that quality comes with a price. Just like every other business, the goal of the landlords is to earn profit. So, if you come across an apartment that is way too cheap to be true, don’t be tempted and dive in headfirst. There must be a bigger problem with the unit. For example, the location of the apartment is not as what we expected, it might be located across a loud nightclub, or next to a highway where there is a high pollution. At this point, you might think: it can’t get any worse, right? Well, it can get worse. This cheap listing you see on the internet could be a bait. Some scammers take the content of existing apartment listings and post them somewhere else with a way cheaper price to collect a deposit from apartment hunters who are not aware of this issue and are too excited about scoring the deal. To avoid this from happening, you have to visit the unit you’re going to rent in person. If you live far away from the property, at least take a virtual tour.

The landlord is unreachable

When you’ve found your potential candidates, try calling the landlords one by one to set up a schedule and pay a visit to the unit. An uncommunicative landlord is one of the biggest apartment hunting red flags. Landlords should be eager to welcome their potential renters and pick up their calls. If you call them and there’s no answer- you might want to cross the apartment off the list. Their response in the first time you try to reach them is a reflection on how they will respond to you later in the future, whether it will be when you’re going to pay for rent or when you need maintenance for the unit. Good landlords are always trying to be responsive to the customers, no matter how busy they are. Do not rely on someone that is not even reachable to help you maintain the apartment issues. 

You’re asked to visit the property at an odd time

Yes, everyone has a designated schedule. However, watch out if you get asked to visit the property only at a certain time. Why? For example, you can only pay a visit at 4 pm. It might be because, in the morning, there is a heavy traffic jam around there. Or worse, it might be because if you come later in the day, this apartment has poor lighting so it feels frightening to walk through the aisles at night. Also, be cautious if the tour is rushed, there might be some places that the landlord doesn’t want you to see. So, make sure its the time that both party’s agree on.

Ongoing projects

When you’re paying a visit, take a look if they are undergoing an unfinished project. It could be a new building, swimming pool, or a parking lot. Ask the landlord when will the project be done. Even if they’ve told you when the project will be finished, there is still a chance it will still be on progress by the time you move in. Ongoing projects aren’t good for your health. There are specks of dust here and there and it may cause respiratory problems. If the landlord can guarantee the finishing date of the project, make sure they are writing the statement on a paper and sign it. 

Poor maintenance

After dealing on a schedule to pay a visit, prepare to see the details while visiting the property. If there’s a funny odor when you first arrived, you might want to take that apartment off the list. It is the landlord’s job to give the place a good clean before giving a tour to a potential customer so that there shouldn’t be any kinds of odors to smell. 

Try to identify if there is a stain on the wall or the ceiling. If you see a fresh coat of paint in certain areas, you might want to ask the landlord about it since they may be trying to hide a problem. All apartments have their imperfections, but be sure to take notes and make a list of each of their imperfections to re-evaluate your choices. When the landlord is bad at maintaining little problems, there is a big chance they might be neglecting the big ones either. Tiny leaks on the ceiling can cause floods. Unmanaged excessive trash could lead to infestations. Moist temperature could cause the growth of mold in your apartment. 

So there you have the things to look out for while apartment hunting. Checking the details in the apartment before you decide to live in it is important so that you won’t have any regrets. We hope this helps your process of finding the perfect home! Don’t forget to check out our other posts on moving!

find out more about Apartment Basics 101: Rent Payments

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