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Relocation.com's Rental Guide for the First-Time Renter


There are some things you should look for in a new rental apartment. A good looking picture in a Craigslist advertisement does not equal a good sale. And as the economy has dwindled a bit in the last couple years, everyone seems to be renting out space in their houses—some that aren’t adequate with Relocation.com’s basic standards. When visiting the property make sure to scout out these certain things:

1. Location of the rental property is important.
And it should be to you. You want to make sure it’s in a good neighborhood with easy access to transportation or a parking spot if you drive. A rental property might be cheap—but you’ll pay out if amenities such as laundromats, supermarkets and gyms are not accessible. So, think about what you can’t live without and make sure you have access to those things from your new rental property. Also, spend some time around the neighborhood to get a feel for the people you will be living around you and scope out your neighbors if you will be sharing walls.

2. The interior space:
Make sure there is no trash left behind and that everything is straightened out before you move in. The windows should all fit and not be broken. Lights should all work, appliances should be cleaned and ready to operate, and air condition should work in the winter and summertime. There should be a working stove, oven, refrigerator, disposal, washer/dryer, AC, heater, hot water heater, sinks without leaks, and locks for all windows and doors.

3. A detailed lease:
That states all the requirements that the landlord might have for your agreement. Your landlord should have all preferences and rules that person expects you to follow in the agreement. He/she must define the length of time that person allows you to stay with the property, the space defined by the contract, how much access you have with the property and other concerns. Make sure to have to contract signed and notarized before you move in.

4. Homeowner’s insurance:
Make sure your landlord has homeowner’s insurance in case anything happens to your living space. Conjure up agreements about what will happen in case of emergencies before they happen.

5. Terms to break contract:
If your landlord has pets or children that keep you up in the middle of the night, you should be able to break the contract. Talk about your expectations and ground rules as a renter before you sign the contract. Your landlord may have rules about visitors and noise for you, but you should voice your concerns as well.

With buying a piece of property or renting out a space, you should take your time with the viewing process. Examine the space making sure you have enough space for your belongings, make sure you can afford the rent (it should be 30 percent of what you are making), and make sure you will be safe and protected if anything does happen. Bring a friend or a family member to get an extra pair of eyes to view the amenities or garner the help of a real estate agent or broker to make your life easier. Happy Renting!

Joann Pan is a freelance writer and photographer based in New York City. She has interned and contributed to Buffalo Spree Magazine and Racked NY.

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

Relocation.com's survey was recently featured on the front page of USA Today. The headline entitled "Moving in Hard Times" highlighted our results that moving and relocating behaviors were only moderately influenced by the economy.


Our lifestyle survey found that Americans are seeking smaller homes and a suburban lifestyle. These riveting results were recently featured on USAToday.com in an article entitled "American dream shrinks as smaller homes gain favor."

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