What should I look for in an apartment/rental home?

Before you start your search, identify your housing needs and what you can afford.

Try to see a few places before deciding. However, sometimes in areas where there are few vacancies, the competition may be high, and you may need to decide quickly.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Make a checklist of things that you are looking for in a place. You can usually divide the list into 2 categories: things you must have, and things it would be nice to have.
  • Select several ads that match your checklist and call the landlords or superintendents. Confirm what was stated in the ad and that the unit is still available. You can often narrow down your options over the telephone.
  • Make appointments to see the places that interest you. Be on time for the appointment, and pay attention to your personal appearance and manners. First impressions can be important when there are many applicants.
  • Inspect the units. Make sure that:
    • The heating, plumbing, electricity and appliances (for example, stove and refrigerator) work properly.
    • There are no signs of mice, cockroaches or other pests.
    • The units and buildings are safe and secure (for example, proper locks).
    • The elevator, doors and hallways are not too narrow to move furniture.

If you do not speak or understand English well, ask someone who does to go with you. Some settlement agencies offer accompaniment services. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

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Last updated: September 15, 2016 4001282