Summer is the busy season for apartment rentals, as everyone's leases end and they search for a new place. If you're among the hordes moving to your next spot, you know the market is a competitive place, especially in cities.
Everyone wants that low-cost unit in a great neighborhood, or the apartment that's recently been updated. However, the perfect places are limited. As such, you have to come to a showing armed and ready!
So how do you stand out amongst the sea of potential renters? Start by proving you're an amazing resident. Property managers will sign a lease with people they feel exhibit ideal qualities. What are those qualities, exactly, and how can you show you have the stuff? Here is a guide:
Your property manager will be one happy camper if you follow your lease to a tee. After all, this piece (or pieces) of paper outline all the agreements you and the manager have made, from when you move out to what you are and are not allowed to do with the space.
That being said, read the lease. I know it's long. I know the language doesn't make sense. But you can and should digest all the information held within. If you're struggling, go through it a little at a time and use context to figure out the meaning.
Take notes as you read so you can quickly reference them without having to decipher the document. For instance, if paragraph five lists in complex terms that you aren't able to paint, make a bullet point that says "no painting."
Remember your binding legal agreement? There's a reason it exists. Your property manager wants you to adhere to all the rules outlined therein. If you break the rules, you and the manager won't be on good terms, and that reputation will follow you into future apartment hunts– yes, property managers do speak with each other.
If your lease says no pets, not only should you not buy that cat, but you shouldn't cat sit for your friends. If your lease says you have a maximum occupancy of 30, don't throw raging parties. Jotting do's and don'ts will help you obey the rules of your lease.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but paying rent on time is so important that it can't be overstated. Renting a unit is an exchange. You provide money in a timely manner and the property manager lets you stay. Failing to pay rent on time is in breach of that transaction.
Not only does the principle of paying late upset managers, but so too does the financial implications. Property managers have other buildings to run, and the money you provide makes that happen. Late payments could upset their routines and cause them to push back projects.
What's more, late payments could go on your credit score, which future property managers can see. Always prioritize timely payments so you'll have an easier time renting down the road.
Although an apartment is a rental property, and you may not live there forever, you should take ownership of it. In simplest terms, treat the place like it's yours. You likely take good care of your possessions, particularly those you care about. Do the same with your apartment.
Clean it regularly, get issues fixed and don't be reckless. By the time you move out, the apartment will still be in good shape, and your property manager won't have to do much to get it ready for the next resident.
With all this in mind, remember that it's OK to call your manager when problems arise. In fact, he or she would prefer you call now to get the issue fixed than let it fester and worsen over time.
We've all had those neighbors who play music too loudly, always throw big parties and never say hi when you pass them in the laundry room. Don't be that person!
Instead, be respectful and follow the golden rule. Keep your noise to a minimum and always be friendly. That way, your neighbors won't complain about you to the property manager. Also make sure you're friendly with your property manager so he or she remembers who you are– this could help you out in the future.
All leases include the desired method of informing your property manager when you'll move out. Know what your manager prefers and follow the steps. For most places, that means writing a letter or filling out an evacuation form one month before your move-out date.
Doing this gives your manager time to list the property and show it to potential renters. If he or she has to wait because you didn't let him or her know you were leaving, it will take longer to fill the unit. And of course, wasting time is wasting money.
Following these steps will make you popular with your current property manager, and that person will pass on the information to anyone you try to sign with in the future.
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