Stephen Shaw
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Basic Apartment Viewing Etiquette You Should Know

Are you currently on the lookout for the perfect apartment? The whole process itself can be intimidating. Keep in mind that looking for the perfect place is not the only thing you have to consider. You, as a renter, should also take into consideration that there are proper rules of conduct that you have to observe.

Schedule an Apartment Viewing

Everyone is busy and no one wants to wait, we get it. But the first thing you have to consider is getting yourself into a schedule where you can view and tour your target apartment. You can’t just visit the apartment and the landlord unannounced. Provide the landlord your most available and convenient time and try to work it out from there.

Prepare For The Viewing Process

I’m not sure if most apartment hunters consider that when you’re looking for an apartment, it is actually an interview. You’re going to interview the landlord, and the landlord gets to interview you. Be polite and consider your appearance. In a perfect world, we won’t be judged, right? But in this imperfect world, judging the next person is something we unconsciously and consciously do.

Don’t come to your scheduled apartment viewing looking homeless. The landlord has every right to judge you, especially if the location you are vying for is a popular bit of real estate. Afterall, they have their pick who they want to have as tenants. Making a critical move in this whole process will send you right back to the very start -- which is finding the next property all over again.

Clean Up Your Credit Score

In case the property you are eyeing requires a certain credit score, cleaning up your credit report is something that you should do. Ideally you started that process some time ago (for reasons I will not discuss in this article). A responsible landlord will most likely run a credit check to see your overall financial history. This process will say a lot about you because your credit history and credit score will give your landlord an idea how responsible a tenant are you. Every landlord wants a responsible renter who will pay their rent on time every month.

Come Prepared to Rent

Although we can’t be sure that the apartment that we are viewing is already the perfect apartment, it is best to still come prepared, especially if the location of the apartment you're looking at is located in a competitive area. You may have to act and make a decision fast. 

When doing an apartment tour, it is also best to bring all the necessary documents with you such as certificate of employment, proof of income, W2, and tax forms. Bring a pen with you in case you’ll be needing to fill out necessary forms.

When find the apartment that is the perfect fit, be prepared to pay the security deposit right away. However, if you find that the apartment is not for you, just pocket the information and move along to the next property.

Your Viewing Group

If you’re not the only person who’s going to stay in the apartment, bring the whole group. The companion(s) who you will be bringing with you during the scheduled viewing will be assumed to be your friend(s) or family member(s) who will be moving in with you. If you’re moving in with your kids, have them behave and not running wildly around the place since technically, the place is not yours yet. If there are still tenants occupying the apartment that you’re viewing, be polite. They probably do not want you being there, but they know the landlord needs to show the place to you.

Think About Moving-in Etiquette

Let’s say you get approved. Congratulations! The next part you have to consider is moving in. Consider the time of day that you will be moving in to your new place. Best time to move in is early in the morning. 8:00 AM is okay. You can move in during the weekdays or weekends. But please do not move in with all your belongings at 8:00 PM. Your neighbors and the other tenants would want to go on with their day and will probably not appreciate the inconvenience that you will bring.

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