First-time Renters

Julia Paz | 11/23/20

First-time Renters

First Time Renting a Home? Don't Know how to begin? This step by step guide to renting your first home or apartment should help! In this guide, we’ll detail exactly how to find an apartment to rent and critical things to look out for. 

Step One: Choose Your Neighborhood

You might know the city that you want (or need) to live in, but make sure that you do some research to check that the neighborhood is right for you. Some things that you might want to consider are:

  • How close is the neighborhood to your workplace? 

  • How close is the nearest public transportation station? 

  • Is the neighborhood safe? 

  • Are you near amenities, such as doctors, dentists, and gyms?

  • Are you nearby restaurants and bars?

  • What are the prices like in this neighborhood? 

All of these factors will influence your decision. 

Step Two: Contact Property Agents or Apply Online

There are so many ways to find a home to rent as well as many options. You can use various search engines to find a private residence, apartment, or shared living space. Make a shortlist of properties you are interested in, research amenities, and the area, then get to contacting! 

Step Three: Arrange Viewings

Viewings are crucial - being in a house or apartment in person will help you visualize yourself in it and decide whether you can see yourself settled there. Once you have seen a few, you should be able to pick 1-3 favorites. Try to be critical of each of these places so that you will know which one is right for you.

Step Four: Go through the application process.

The company you want to rent from will manage this for you, but they will need you to provide some details. These could include: 

  • Details for a credit check.

  • Your income details, or your tax returns if you are self-employed. 

  • References from previous landlords. 

  • Character references. 

  • Details of a guarantor, if needed. 

Step Five: Set a move-in date

Once you’ve passed all the checks and paid an initial sum (downpayment or security deposit), you will set your moving date! Landlords generally want properties to be empty for as little amount of time as possible - so if the home or apartment is already unoccupied, they may be willing for you to move in right away. If there are currently other tenants, they will probably want you to set a moving date a few days after moving out. 

Once you’ve moved in, be sure to check the home for any existing damages and make your landlord aware of any issues right away. You definitely don’t want to be charged for damages you did not cause.

Last but not least, enjoy your new home!