If you’re considering renting an apartment, you’ll need to look for a number of things to make sure it will work for you. It’s different from buying a house, and there are different things you’ll want to think about.
First, make sure to check out the reputation of the complex. You could try talking to an apartment locator - they’ll give you information, but they might also try to put you in a preferred complex that pays a higher fee. You can also check online. It’s very easy to find stuff these days in the search engines, especially if the complex has a unique name. Often there are internet forums where people specifically go to complain about or rate their apartment complexes. You can find out if people have had problems with getting back their deposits, getting repairs, or general problems with the area. Always be sure to get a crime report on the local area. You really just have to go to a local police station and ask about it - they’ll usually be willing to give you a brief description of what crime is like in that area. Often it’s hard to tell just by looking - even relatively nice looking areas could have something bad a few blocks away. All it takes is one seedy hotel to bring the kind of people nearby who will wander into your complex’s parking lot and try to get into the cars. You also can try talking to current tenants. Just don’t sign anything the first time you talk to the complex about an apartment, and go back a few days later and talk to one or two of the tenants. Hang around the mailboxes and you should be able to find someone - ask about whether they get timely responses to maintenance, whether the apartments have any hidden problems or are of poor quality, that sort of thing.
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