Finding an apartment or other rentals can be a stressful process, especially in a competitive market. You might have a matter of days or even hours to review a listing and decide whether or not to move forward.
With that in mind, it’s important to know how to review listings and find the most crucial information without getting distracted by marketing glitz or deceptive wording. Any quality rental listing should have the following elements.
Details in Plain English
A trustworthy rental listing should have information about square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking, and other relevant details front and center. This is the first step for many buyers in determining whether the rental is going to meet their needs.
Be wary of vaguely-worded listings that use terms like “junior one bedroom” without listing specifics. This often means the listing agent is trying to cover up a problem or unattractive listing to lure buyers in sight unseen.
Costs and Fees
Once you’ve decided if a rental has enough space, the next big question you face is whether or not you can afford it. Again, this information should be easy to find and clearly articulated. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity about rental rates and any associated fees.
As you look through the listing, make sure it lists costs like pet fees, utilities, parking, and security deposit. These are things you might not think about initially, but they add up in the end and should figure into your monthly budget.
No matter how nice a rental is, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. In those situations, you need to know who your landlord is and how to reach them.
Again, the landlord or property management company information should be very clearly spelled out in the rental listing. Any ambiguities in this area should be a major red flag that you could be in for a hard time if you need help after you move in.