First-Time Apartment Renters Guide

Renting your first apartment is both exciting and intimidating. It is a really big deal – big enough to make your head spin. Here is a list that we’ve put together to make this an easier task for you.

1. Know your budget. By now you have a general idea of what you spend on food per month. Put other expenses into the equation, and you will have a general idea of what you have got to spend on rent. The ideal rent is 25-30% of your monthly income.

2. Know your upfront costs. Be ready to pay the apartment management a security deposit, an application fee and, sometimes, a month’s rent. Make sure to add in the costs for utilities and Wi-Fi. Also, be ready to get and pay for renter’s insurance. Some management companies require it.

3. Will you need a co-signer? If this is your first apartment, the odds are pretty good that you will need a co-signer – an individual who will vouch for you by co-signing the lease. This is necessary if your monthly income is more than 1/3 of your rent, you don’t have much of a credit history or the one you have is poor.

4. Lease Terms. Often this may be the first legal document that you will be signing. Read it! Read every word over and over until you understand it. Never skim over a lease.

5. Pets. If you have a dog or cat, you may be required to pay a pet deposit. There may even be restrictions pertaining to breed or size. Know these restrictions before you sign.

6. Take transportation into consideration. Are you on a public transportation route? If you have a car, where do you park it? Where do your guests park?

7. If you have friends that are willing to help you move – kudos to them. But, if you are hiring a professional company, remember to fit the cost into your budget. It is worth it to have professionals. They know how to handle all types of boxes and they can do it in a dramatically shorter period of time.

This list is meant as a guide. We hope you have found it helpful. For more information, contact All County NEO Property Management by visiting