The 5 Important Steps of The Apartment Leasing Process
Posted on April 10, 11:20 AM
If you have never leased an apartment before and been through the process, it may seem a little confusing. Throughout the entire process from time to time, you may be left wondering, "what happens next?" This uncertainty can bring about a number of different emotional responses that may add to your stress level.
Fear not. At Apartment Home Living, we are all about reducing your stress level to the point of non-existence. To help you through this seemingly unknown process, we have compiled a quick list of what to expect and the steps you should be taking during the leasing process.
1. The Initial Hunt- First and foremost comes the apartment hunt; your search for the perfect place. There is no better place to do this than by hopping onto our website here and sifting through the number of listings in the area of your choice. You'll be able to compare prices, pictures, virtual tours, floorplans, and more. Once you narrow your choice of places down to a short list of no more than 5 places...its time to move on to the next step.
2. The Personal Visit- After deciding on just a few finalists, note their leasing office hours and drop by to meet the management and take a personal tour of the community. This will help you get a first hand view of your potential new home. It's important to remember that managers and leasing agents are your friends. They are there to answer any question that you may have and to help you get into the perfect new home. Take a tour of each of your prospective communities, take notes, and compare. Think about which one has the most appeal to you or has the most amenities that fit your wants, and move forward with it.
3. The Application- The next step in the leasing process should come along after you meditated, compared, and made the final decision on your top choice. You'll need to submit a rental application. The manager at the community of your choice will be able to give you the application as well as anything else that they may need to have filled out. You will need a plethora of information, so be sure to bring your ID, SS #, three of your past paystubs for income verification, and misc info about yourself and your rental history. Be aware that your criminal background and credit history will also be scanned during this part of the process, so it is very important to be upfront about issues that may arise during that time. Also be aware that you may be required to pay a rental application at this time.
One you submit the application, all you can do now is wait the period of time that the leasing professional tells you. Sometimes this is a matter of hours and sometimes it's a few days, but once a decision is made they will let you know it. If you have been accepted...it's time to move on to step 4!
4. The Lease Signing- "Congratulations! Your application has been approved." Once you hear these words or a variation of them, it will be time to sign your lease and the leasing process will be nearly complete. The agent will more than likely give you specific directions in filling out their lease form, but in most cases you will stop by the leasing office and fill it out. It will be a number of pages and each page will require your initials or signature to prove that you are aware of everything included in the lease.
The lease is a binding contract, so it is very important to pay attention as the leasing agents goes over it with you. It is perfectly normal for you to take your time and read all the fine print for your self. That is your right. You will also be given a copy of the lease to take with you and keep for your records, but it is very important to know everything included in your lease from the get go.
You may be required to pay your necessary deposits at this point, but once your lease has been signed and deposits have been paid its time to move in
5. The Move-In- On your selected move-in date, after the lease has been signed, and deposits have been paid...you should be given your keys and more than likely a move-in form to fill out that has a "map" of your apartment. Here you will want to do an initial walk through of your apartment. Look for dings in the walls, cracked windows, or other irregularities and report them on this form. This will indicate that these things were there before you moved in and you will not be held responsible for them.
After you finish the walk through, turn the form into your leasing office, drop them a thank you note, and it has finally become time to enjoy your new digs...well...you'll have to move all of your stuff in first...then it will be time to enjoy.
The next process in this whole ordeal is the moving process. There are a ton of ways to help you move with ease and we have listed them in a number of articles like Moving With Ease: The Complete Checklist.