If you see a sign for an apartment that you really like, and the price is affordable, it might not be the deal you imagine it to be. Many apartments out there tout great prices and claim that they have the best deal out there. While the value might not be terrible, the apartment might have a lot to be desired once you actually move in. There could be a disquieting reason the rent is so low.
The rent price might be really cheap and the apartment layout is amazing. You sign the lease immediately and can’t wait to move in. However, you quickly realize that there are a million bugs and there is no one to deal with it, or staff doesn’t really care. So, while your rent is really low, you are not sleeping at night because ants are crawling everywhere and the spiders are meeting in the corner of the room for drinks.
There might be a reason why the rent was so low. The apartment wasn’t rented because it is just so loud. Maybe the neighbor plays music all night long and you can’t sleep. If you live in a city, you could be living in a bad part of town where you hear nothing but gunshots and loud arguments all night long. Certainly, cheap apartments can never compensate for this pitfall.
After a few months, you realize you aren’t staying any longer than the lease states you have to. However, your landlord is so cheap you don’t get your security deposit back despite having an immaculate apartment when you leave. While you can take your landlord to court, are you willing to invest that time and money into doing so?
Most landlords are going to come off as nice and appear to be your best friend until you sign your lease. Make sure you take pictures and fill out a condition report so that your landlord doesn’t come up with an excuse to keep your money, or try to evict you for some nonsense reason.
Keep in mind that you should never ever rent an apartment without seeing it first. If the landlord won’t let you see it, do not send any money or agree to take the apartment!
Your landlord might also pull a nice little trick where they don’t pay the mortgage on the house you live in, so you are foreclosed on without any recourse. It would be hard to get your rent back, or at least any of the rent you paid, so you are stuck looking for a new apartment on short notice.
Most leases are one-year deals, but watch out for special deals that lock in your rent for longer than one year, or will have increases after the first year. This isn’t really bait and switch, but some creative language that makes the deal sound better than it really is. Make sure you are reading your lease and understand what you are signing before you move in.