Ultimate Renters Toolkit

Time to search for a new apartment or looking at moving out for the first time? Don’t Panic! At Freedom we have all the facts and tips to help turn this process into a smooth successful move.

Searching for an apartment can be a simple process if you make a checklist beforehand. Make a note of all the things you need for your perfect place along with a set budget of what you can afford. See our below checklist to search for your apartment successfully:
1. Stick to your budget! Only search for apartments that you can afford.
2. Set a preferred moving date to set as a target
3. How much space do you need? i.e. do you need more than one bedroom or bathroom? Do you need a garage/spare room for extra storage?
4. How will you park your vehicle? Would you prefer accommodation that comes with a garage or are you happy to park on a safe street?
5. If you have pets you will need to find an apartment that allows for them.
6. What area would you prefer to live in? Research the different areas in your town as well as ones that are close to your work or place of study and see what local shops, transport, and facilities are close by.
7. What appliances would you like your apartment to already have? Do you need a washing machine/tumble dryer/dishwasher etc already included?
8. Check your credit score! If you check this prior to applying for your apartment you will give yourself peace of mind and allow time to turn around those mistakes!

Taking notes and photos of apartments you will be viewing is crucial, make sure your new apartment looks great but fits the picture!
Before you enter, check the exterior of the building, if this is well kept it will give you a good indicator that the building is being maintained.
If you’re viewing an apartment in a complex, check the lobby is clean and well looked after, look for clear, signed fire exits and if you are looking at living on an upper level make sure to check this is accessible with working lifts.
Time to check the interior! Make sure it’s clean, has no weird smells and ask if there have been any issues you should be aware of. If you are viewing a model apartment, make sure you ask to see another one that’s empty to avoid being misled.

After a few viewings and going back through your checklist you have found your perfect apartment and you want to make it yours straight away! That’s great! But let’s make sure we are prepared for the application process and we know exactly what we are looking for before signing the lease.
Application Process
Most applications will need information on your income so that you can prove you can pay the rent. Locate between 2 to 3 recent payslips to attach to the application possibly along with a bank statement as well.
Also, be prepared to allow your possible new landlord to do a background check as well as check your credit score to validate you would be the perfect tenant.
Make your application stronger by using past landlords as a reference and if this is your first move don’t worry! You can use personal references along with a strong cover letter stating why you should qualify for the apartment.

When it comes to signing the lease be sure to check, double check and triple check the document!
Have you gone through all the policies? This is usually referring to the deposit, pets, smoking, subletting etc. If you are unsure of any of the policies make sure you ask before you sign!
Are you aware of all possible penalties? Be sure to check what happens regarding any late rent payments, damage to the apartment and any extras fees that could occur.
How much notice does your landlord require? You never know when you might have to urgently up and leave! Be sure to check how much notice your landlord needs before you depart and if you will be charged due to needing to break this clause.
Do you have a copy? Make sure you have a copy of your lease to go back to prepare for any future problems and to keep your landlord happy.

Moving into your new pad shouldn’t have to be manic- we can help make this organised and stress-free! Follow our moving in checklist to get on the right track!

Hooray! You did it! You now have an apartment of your dreams, signed all the paperwork and unpacked, so now let’s keep making it an enjoyable place to live!

Keep your landlord happy by keeping the place clean and tidy as well as notifying them if any problems occur due to a busted pipe, sewer issue, broken appliances etc.
You can choose where you live but unfortunately not who you live around! If you come across disruptive neighbours try first to talk calmly about the issues and if the behaviour continues or the situation escalates, be sure to contact your landlord and the police if their behaviour becomes threatening.
Keep note of when your lease runs out! If you love your apartment and wish to keep living there for a longer period, make sure you are on top of renewing your lease to avoid having to relocate.

Enjoy your new apartment and take away all the skills you’ve learnt for your next move!

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