One of the first “adult” things you’ll likely do when you head out on your own is rent an apartment. The process can be a bit intimidating for a first time renter. Below we take you through the steps of finding an apartment, navigating the legalese of the lease agreement, as well as managing your rights as a tenant. Let’s do this.
Figure out how much you can afford.看看您的月收入。专家建议仅花费税后收入的25％-35％在租金和住房上。因此，假设您的税费为每月1,500美元。理想情况下，您不应每月支付超过525美元的租金。
Keep in mind that some apartments have income requirements that will put you out of the running altogether.
If you can’t find a place within your budget, consider getting a室友。
Create criteria for your ideal apartment.What are you looking for in an apartment? Do you want a studio or a single bedroom? Maybe you want to rent a small house? Do you need the apartment to come with appliances, including washer and dryer? Do want it to be close to school or your work? Do want it to be within walking distance of retail, like groceries or coffee shops? Are you willing to live in a neighborhood known for its crime levels?
确定潜在的公寓。With your list of criteria in hand, hop online and start searching for apartments. When Kate and I looked for an apartment here in Tulsa, I simply began the search by Googling: “Tulsa apartments for rent.” Google actually brings up a map that pinpoints apartments or homes for rent in your city. That map makes narrowing down potentials pretty easy because you can see if the apartments are close to work or school, near grocery stores, or are in safe areas of town.
Once you narrow apartments down by location, check to see if they have the things you’re looking for in a rental, i.e. appliances, number of bedrooms, etc. Most big apartment complexes have a web page where you can look at floor plans, the amenities they offer, and the cost of rent. Smaller units might only have a phone number. Give those apartments a call and ask about their available units and cost.
Don’t just limit your search to Google. Make sure to hop on Craigslist to find homes or apartments that might be for rent by individual owners as opposed to bigger companies.
Set aside a day to visit your potentials.您需要亲自访问潜在的租赁单位，以查看其状况并可能提交租赁申请。通过一日访问尽可能多的潜力，使此过程尽可能高效。星期六是展示公寓的房东最繁忙的日子，因此请尝试在一周的某个时候去。最好打电话给房东并与他们约会，但是如果您不能，大多数建筑物都会为您带来游览。您需要为每次访问预留大约45分钟的时间，因此请相应地计划您的约会。
Visiting Prospective Rentals
When you actually go visit the apartment, dress for the occasion. While you don’t have to wear a shirt and tie, you shouldn’t come rolling in to your appointment wearing sweatpants and a crummy t-shirt. Nice jeans and a polo will work well.
Be on time! If you show up late to your appointment, the manager or landlord could take that as a sign you may be late in paying rent.
When you meet the manager or landlord, offer a firm handshake, a warm smile, and thank them for meeting with you.
检查问题。As you walk through the apartment, check the following things, but again, don’t broadcast your concerns right away:
- Open and close all the doors and windows, and also check that the locks function properly.
- Flush the toilet and run the water in the sinks and showers. Pay attention to water pressure and temperature.
- Check for wear and tear in the carpet.
- What’s the monthly rent?
- How much is the security deposit?
- What’s the make-up of the other tenants? Are they mainly younger students? Married couples with families? Older folks?
- Have you had any break-ins in the past year? Are car break-ins a problem?
- Do you take care of small maintenance issues or am I responsible for some of the repairs in the apartment?
- Am I able to re-paint the walls or make other modifications?
Ask current tenants about their experience.在我的经验中，在线公寓评论一文不值。似乎唯一离开评论的人是在房东或公寓经理经历不好的人。而且，当您阅读评论时，您通常会感觉到这个人有点不受欢迎，并且可能有助于创建他们首先要解决的问题。
To get a better idea of what it’s like to rent at a particular complex, it’s best to ask current tenants. When you’re visiting, and don’t have a person from their office by your side, ask any tenants you may run into about their experience living there. Is the landlord easy to work with? Are they responsive to repair requests? Do they feel safe living here? Are the neighbors quiet and friendly?
When you find a place you like, you’ll likely have to fill out a rental application. Landlords and apartment managers use the application to screen potential renters. The application will ask about your employment and monthly income as well as your rental history. You’ll also be asked to sign a consent form giving permission to the landlord to run a background and credit check. Be completely truthful when filling out the application! Any fibs on it will likely be discovered during the background check, resulting in your application ending up in the trashcan.
And to be clear: submitting a rental obligation in no way obligates you to anything. If the manager approves it, you’ll then be asked to come in to the apartment office to sign a lease.
在提交租赁申请之前先检查您的信用记录。Landlords are allowed by law to check the信用历史of potential renters to screen for people who are or aren’t likely to pay rent on time. If they see that you’ve had trouble paying bills on time, that’s a red flag that they shouldn’t rent to you. It’s good to check your credit history before submitting an application so you can correct any mistakes that may adversely affect you in the rental process.
准备支付租金费用。Landlords are allowed to charge you an application fee to cover the cost of the credit check. The fee should be in the $20-$30 range; anything more, and you’re probably getting ripped off. If you’re submitting multiple rental applications, the credit check fees can quickly start adding up. To curtail those costs, you might consider getting your credit report yourself and making copies of it to give to landlords. Some may insist on requesting the report themselves, out of worry that you may have doctored the copy to make it look better than it actually is. But you may be able to persuade a few to accept your copy, thus saving you some money. It doesn’t hurt to try.
After your rental application has been approved, the landlord will ask you to come to the office and sign a lease. This is where you can bring up any concerns you had about the rental unit, as well as negotiate for better terms or perks. You need to be on your game during this time, because once you sign your name on that dotted line, you’re pretty much stuck with the terms written in the lease.
在您的支票帐户中有足够的钱，以支付保证金和第一个月的租金。When you sign your lease, the landlord will usually ask that you pay a security deposit as well as the first month’s rent. Make sure you have enough money in available (they may only take cash, money order, or debit card) to cover both amounts. The security deposit will be stored in a savings account during the term of your lease. If you terminate the lease early or leave the apartment in disrepair, the landlord will use the security deposit to cover those costs. If you leave the apartment in the same condition as you got it, you can get your security deposit back. More on that later.
Difference between a lease and a rental agreement.租赁和租赁协议几乎是同一回事，除了一件事：时间。租金协议通常从每月每月进行，而租赁持续时间更长，通常是一年。房东可以在租金协议到期时的每个月末自由提高租金；租赁全年租金率。
If you know that you’ll only be in the apartment for a short period of time, ask for a rental agreement; if you plan on staying in your place for at least a year, get a lease.
Read the lease or rental agreement before signing!在您逐条租赁线路上阅读之前，不要签署任何内容。当您同意从房东租用时，您想确切地知道自己会进入什么。记下任何您发现不愉快的东西，并提出有关您不了解的问题的问题。当您阅读租金时，请查找回答以下问题的规定：
How much is rent?Duh.
保证金是多少，您如何将其收回？Understand what sort of condition you’ll need to leave the apartment in if you want to get your security deposit back.
租赁的期限是什么？Month-to-month? Nine months? One year?
租约结束时会发生什么？When the term of the lease is up, what do you have to do to renew it? How much will the landlord increase your rent by? If the lease is up, but you still need a place to stay for a month or two, can you ask that the lease convert to a month-to-month rental agreement?
Many corporately managed complexes will try sneak in clauses saying you have to pay two or three months rent for ending a lease early. Because they can often fill the vacancy quickly, they end up scoring a huge windfall — they have two months rent from you, plus rent from the new guy. That’s illegal in most states. If you see termination fees like that in the lease, try to get them deleted or modified before you sign. Forfeiting your security deposit and paying a month’s rent is usually a reasonable termination fee.
If you have signed with a roommate, are you jointly and severally liable?通常，当您与室友签署租约时，租约将声明每个共同签名人共同承担责任。这意味着，如果您的室友不支付租金的份额或在租赁结束之前移出，youare still on the hook for the full amount of the rent.
Where, how, and when is rent paid and what happens if you’re late on rent?You’d be surprised, but some landlords are really particular about how rent is paid. They want it in a certain form (check, credit card, etc.) and deposited in a certain place. Make sure you know where and how this is to take place. Also make sure the lease is clear onwhen租金is due and what happens if you pay late. Most landlords will charge a fee on late payments.
Which utilities are you responsible for?一些房东涵盖了所有公用事业的成本，而另一些则没有覆盖。许多人将安排他们支付水费，但随后将您的部分账单上的一部分付诸实践。
Is subletting allowed?假设您在夏季进行了三个月的旅行。您有一个朋友，他需要一个在同一三个月内住宿的地方。只要您向您支付每月租金的金额，就可以让您的朋友留在您的位置，而不是让您的公寓空缺三个月，以便您可以付房东。你只是转身。大多数房东都禁止转租，但有些则允许它。如果您认为自己需要能够将其转让给他人，请确保租赁允许您使用。
Are you responsible for minor repairs or is your landlord?尽管法律要求房东进行确保居住的维修，但不需要他们照顾次要的维修，并且可能会给您照顾。大多数大型公寓大楼几乎可以修复您的设备中的任何东西。在带有个人房东的租赁中，您经常看到条款，说明租房者负责进行较小的维修。
Are pets allowed, and if so, do you have to pay an extra fee for having one?Some apartments allow pets (often with size restrictions); some don’t. The ones that do, often charge an extra monthly fee.
Feel free to negotiate and delete any of these terms.如果您看到任何不喜欢的术语，请要求修改它们。另外，请随时协商租金金额或保证金。在您和房东签署租约之前，任何事情都可以更改合同。
Get Renter’s Insurance
When you sign your lease, your landlord may strongly suggest and even hint that you’re legally required to get renter’s insurance. Their concern isn’t for your benefit. The landlord wantsyour保险政策支付您的疏忽造成的任何损害或损害，而不是起诉房东的受害一方。虽然您不需要在大多数州（除弗吉尼亚州除外）拥有租房者的保险，但无论如何，还是一个好主意。正如伍德罗的电话Lonesome Dove会说：“最好不要它，不需要它，然后需要它而没有它。”租房者的保险将使您每月退还约15-25美元，如果您将其签到另一家保险公司的保单（例如汽车）。
Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Renter
您有权享有可居住的前提。While you’re not entitled to five-star amenities, you do have the right to rent a place that’s habitable. What constitutes a habitable premise? Case law and statutes generally define it as having the following attributes:
- access to trash receptacles
如果你的公寓有马的任何缺陷ke your place inhabitable (like sewage backing up in your bathtub), your landlord has a duty to fix it. While some apartments let you make online requests for repairs, as well as provide a phone number for “emergencies,” always make sure you document your request in some way. The landlord will then have a certain amount of time to make those repairs. If they don’t, you have several re-courses, such as withholding rent until the repairs are made or paying someone to fix the problem and then deducting the cost of repair from your rent. It’s when you decide to go those routes, that having your communications with your landlord well documented becomes so important.
You have the right to privacy.While the landlord owns the property, they can’t barge in anytime they want. All states have laws stating renters have a right to privacy while renting. Pretty much the only time the landlord can come into your rental without permission or notice is when they’re responding to an emergency that threatens injury or property damage.
You have the right to a safe premise.房东无法防止其房屋上发生的所有犯罪或事故，但是如果发生犯罪或伤害because在房东的疏忽大意中，您可以起诉他们可能造成的任何损害或费用。
In addition to the provisions in the lease agreement, many states have statutes on the books listing the responsibilities of the renter.
Reimburse the landlord for any damages you may cause.If you don’t keep the apartment clean, safe, and in good repair, you have the responsibility of reimbursing the landlord to make the apartment clean, safe, and in good repair again.
First, clean your apartment as well as you can, including carpet cleaning, if possible (landlords will often clip you on this). Second, get your Tenant-Landlord Checklist that you filled out when you first moved in and run an inspection again with your landlord. You can’t be charged for ordinary wear and tear that comes with living in an apartment, but you can be for damage and excessive filth.Check out this chartof what sort of wear and tear a landlord should pay for and what sort of damage they can deduct from your security deposit.
If the landlord does have to deduct from your security deposit to replace and clean your apartment, you’re entitled to an itemized statement that explains the purpose of each deduction. If you think any of the amounts are excessive and unwarranted, push back and make your case. If your landlord won’t change his mind, unfortunately your only recourse is to take him to small claims court. Make sure you have everything well documented, though, should you choose to do this.