For Apartment Renters -Things to Consider from


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For all of you apartment renters out there, you know one thing to be true: once your lease is up, your commitment to that rental is too. You’re feeling as free as a bird, right? Maybe you want to stay and renew your lease – great! Maybe you want to move out – that’s fine too. The choice is yours, so if you’re beginning to feel weary about renewing your lease, don’t stress. You have options. It’s all a part of the apartment rental journey, my friends.

If you’re feeling unsettled in your apartment, there are probably a few things making you feel less inlove with your home than you were when you originally signed your lease. If you’re contemplating moving out of your apartment and finding new digs, consider these 10 signs that your time at your current place may be up – meaning that you’re better off finding a new, more suitable apartment for you!

1. A noisy apartment

If you have to knock (bang) on the living room wall that you share with your neighbors on a regular basis to alert them of their obnoxiousness (yes, it’s a word), then it’s reasonable to assume you have a noisy apartment. Whether it’s slightly (very) rude neighbors, traffic or construction noise coming from outside, or even your own roommate, a noisy apartment is rarely enjoyable, especially if you appreciate peace and quiet after a long day.

There are plenty of ways to deal with or reduce noise in your apartment. Whether you have to file a noise complaint about your neighbors with apartment management or have a sit-down talk with your roommate about being quieter at home, there are ways to manage the noise level. If you want to reduce traffic noise or any outside noise in your apartment, you can always use a sound/white noise machine or a box fan for background noise while you sleep, read, relax, etc. at home. You can also reinforce your windows to make sure there isn’t a gap that’s making the noise more prominent in your home, or try using thick blackout curtains to keep noise from coming through the glass doors and windows.

However, if you’re fed up with the noise and have tried one or more of these tactics already, your noisy apartment may just be too loud. If earplugs can’t help you, then you know it’s time. And if that’s the case, consider moving out at the end of your lease and finding a new, quieter apartment.

2. A bad roommate who intends to renew

Your roommate may be the one causing the noise in your apartment, but even if they aren’t, there could still be some bad blood (cue the T. Swift) that makes you uneasy living with this person. For instance, maybe they’re always having friends over late at night, never take out the trash or clean up after themselves, or are just irrationally rude. It happens! Not everyone can have the perfect roommate situation, but if your roommate doesn’t make your living situation blissful (or at least bearable), then it may be time to consider moving out at the end of your lease term and finding a new roommate to move into another apartment with you. This is especially necessary if your roommate intends to renew their lease when the time comes – get out while you can (just a friendly suggestion).

3. An absentee landlord or property manager

Remember that maintenance request you put in three weeks ago that’s gone unresolved, or that package you’ve been trying to pick up at the leasing office during their operating hours (yet no one has been in the office to retrieve it for you)? That’s what I like to call an absentee landlord or property manager. If your landlord or the members of your leasing office aren’t bothering to perform to their best ability, or at least scheduling maintenance to fix your dishwasher in a timely manner after you’ve put in a request, then it may be time to find a new apartment.

Landlords aren’t perfect, just like most roommates. But odds are that if you’re having a negative experience with your current landlord, you’ll be able to find a better tenant-landlord relationship elsewhere. It doesn’t hurt to explore your options.

4. A rent increase with your lease renewal

Ah, the beloved rent increase that accompanies your lease renewal. It’s not the most joyous of occasions, but it happens – and it’s a pretty regular occurrence for most apartment complexes. You’ll almost always (depending on location and management) find a rent increase notice with your lease renewal, but it’s the amount your rent is increasing that really matters.

A typical rent increase ranges between 2% and 4%, but the average for a rent increase is 3%. If your rent increases beyond that range, then it may be time to consider moving to another apartment. That’s totally up to you. However, you can also try negotiating the rent increase with your landlord or property manager – it all depends on the situation and their willingness to compromise. If your apartment remains in your budget even with the percentage increase, then you don’t have much to worry about other than the slight annoyance that comes with paying more in rent for the exact same apartment.

5. Additional fees with your lease renewal

But wait, additional fees may also come with the lease renewal? Yep – that’s right. Additional fees can be added to your potential new lease (if you choose to renew) by your landlord or property management company (much to your dismay), such as a valet trash service fee, monthly pet rent, storage fee, parking fee, etc.

I know – you don’t want to pay to have someone pick up your trash (though it’s nice not having to haul your trash to the dumpster yourself – trust me on this one), and you definitely don’t want to pay an extra $15 per month for your cat to live in your apartment. The good news, however, is that you can always find a new apartment to escape your current apartment’s additional fees if they’re beyond what you’re willing to pay.

6. Lingering pet, smoke, or mildew odor

If the first smell you experience in the morning is a lingering pet odor, a smoky aroma, or the slight stench of mildew (that you’re not at fault for), then it may be time to move out. Any smell that previously existed in the apartment before you signed your lease should be taken care of before you move in.

Maybe you didn’t notice the smell at first, but if the landlord isn’t taking care of the stench, and you just can’t stand it anymore, then I suggest finding a cleaner apartment. However, the landlord or property manager is required to rid the apartment of any signs of mold or mildew over the course of your lease, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The pet or smoke odors, however, are only the landlord’s responsibility to fix if the smells were there before you moved in. If you made the apartment smelly (maybe from your cat’s litter box), it’s your responsibility to fix it. Cleaning sprays for pet odor removal are your friend in this case.

7. Lack of storage

The closets in your apartment should be sufficient to store your holiday decorations, extra throw pillows, cleaning supplies, and other household items (for most of us), but if your apartment lacks closet space to the point where your shoes are sitting out because they won’t fit in the closet, it may be time to consider finding an apartment with more storage space. Cluttered apartments aren’t the way to go.

Maybe your issue is with a lack of bike storage lockers or storage units for rent that can hold bigger items such as extra wall décor and pieces of furniture. These storage units come in handy if you can’t fit everything you own into your apartment! Though not all apartment communities offer these storage features, some do – it’ll just take a little searching to find a new apartment that fits your specifications.

8. Lack of security

An apartment can never truly be a home if you don’t feel safe staying there alone. You should always feel safe in your home! That being said, if your apartment building or community lacks security features, such as a gated entry, double locks on unit doors (including one that can only be locked/unlocked from inside the apartment), keypad entry into the building, or 24-hour surveillance, then I understand how you wouldn’t feel very safe in your home.

Luckily, there are more and more apartments these days that are putting effort into maintaining and increasing their security features. So, it won’t be too difficult finding a new place where you can sleep soundly without fear.

9. Parking has become sparse

Do you have to fight for a parking spot when you get home from work or after a long weekend away from home? If your parking lot or parking deck is full the majority of the time, then I understand your frustration. Everyone wants to park as close to their apartment as possible, while also picking the safest spot where their car won’t get dinged by the adjacent vehicle’s doors when the owner comes and goes. And once you find a spot you like, it’s annoying when you come home to see that it’s taken by another car, especially when that car belongs to a visitor.

While some communities offer visitor parking to avoid this situation, other communities allow a free-for-all. This is fine, as long as the parking lot or deck isn’t becoming overcrowded, making it impossible for residents to find a spot close to their apartment building. If you’re leaning towards finding a new apartment, search for one with assigned parking, a large parking deck, or a spacious parking lot – just to be safe.

10. Apartment amenities are not maintained

It’s a nice summer day, and you decide to spend it relaxing by your apartment community’s pool – sounds delightful. Unfortunately, when you get there, you discover that the pool is in bad shape and has obviously not been cleaned or taken care of in weeks. Sound familiar? Though I hope this is not the case, living in an apartment where the amenities are not well taken care of is not enjoyable for you as a renter.

Apartment amenities that could be left to fend for themselves include the community’s swimming pool, fitness center, laundry room, dog park, tennis courts, etc. If you pay rent to live in a community with these features, then it’s no secret that you expect them to be usable and well-maintained. Lucky for you, there are so many apartment complexes with wonderful amenities and helpful landlords and property managers that will make you feel settled and safe in your apartment!

If you’re unhappy with your current living station, and any of these signs are deterring you from renewing your lease, don’t hesitate to look for a new apartment if you think that’s what’s best for you. Happy hunting, my fellow renters – greener pastures await!

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