Lesson Learned: Be Thorough When Renting an Apartment

October 14, 2011

In my excitement to move out of my mother’s home, I neglected some very important aspects of the apartment hunting process.

Let’s be honest here; I was desperate!

I wanted out of it so badly that I would have moved into any apartment in any part of town that wasn’t rat/bug infested. I did manage that but I instead, I moved into an apartment that was/is mold infested.

I made a few mistakes when I moved the first time. I’d like to share them with you so that you do not make these same mistakes.

1. I did not see the apartment with a landlord or leasing agent.

I walked through the place with the current resident and took her word for truth. I thought they were good people who wouldn’t screw me over. I was wrong. In the end, whether they meant to or not, they neglected to tell me some major issues with the apartment.

2. I didn’t do a thorough inspection of the apartment while it was empty and BEFORE I signed the lease.

I didn’t want to sign the lease the day that I did but the leasing agent said that she would not hold the apartment for me, even with a deposit if I didn’t sign the lease.  This was a red flag to me but not enough of one to make me halt things. I just thought it was wrong. And since I didn’t see the apartment when it was empty until the day I moved in, I missed some HUGE problems.

There is a hole in the bathroom floor!! A HOLE! That leads to who knows where! A hole that allows the most disgusting bugs ever into my apartment. The former residents had it hidden, whether by choice or not I do not know, by a shower curtain.

The windows are horrible. But I didn’t notice this until the place was empty.

And many more issues that I can’t list. The point is, I was stuck in this lease because I had signed it before doing a thorough inspection. I will not make that mistake again.

3. I was afraid to walk away.

There were a lot of questions that I had about the place the MOMENT I stepped foot into the door on moving day. I should have stopped, kept the moving truck full and located the landlord (although it wouldn’t have helped, I didn’t have an emergency number for him, only an office that he didn’t check until Monday morning.). I needed a place to live, I felt desperate and I was scared of what would happen if I’d waited until my questions were answered.

4. I needed phone numbers for EVERYONE involved in the apartment.

I can’t believe that I moved in and have lived in this apartment for six weeks and I still have NO IDEA who to call after hours if there were a problem or I got locked out. I needed telephone numbers and the fact that I wasn’t given any should have alerted me to the possibility of more issues. Again, I won’t make that mistake again.

A lesson learned, put into action!

Today I am going to get the keys to our new apartment. You can be damn sure that I won’t sign a signal thing until I’ve walked through that apartment WITH the leasing agent. Only after we’ve documented issues together and come to an agreement on repairs and put it in writing will I sign the lease and hand over my money!

Take my mistakes and use them for your future! I’ve, once again, shown you WHAT NOT to Do.



Tags: apartmenthunting, leasing, moving, renting

4 Responses to Lesson Learned: Be Thorough When Renting an Apartment

  1. Christa on October 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    What a bummer! I’m glad you’re able to move out now!


  2. Lindsey
    on October 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Oh my… that’s a rough situation to be in. Did you sub-lease the apartment? Are you planning on staying and trying to make it work?


  3. sammie on October 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Oh no! Another good one is to visit at different times of day & night. The agent letting my house was insistant that I viewed before 3pm both times – something about locking up the office – it was actually due the fact that my neighbours have very noisy teenagers that return at around 4pm each day and also if you come home after 6pm you end up parking 4 blocks away!!
    sammie recently posted..Where Can I Find For Christmas


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on November 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      That is a great tip! I didn’t even think about the different times of day!! I would most definitely do that if I were buying a house!



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