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Cheap Apartment Pitfalls to Watch For

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.

Noisy Neighbors

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.

Poor Landlord

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.

Lease Terms

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.


Car Rentals Smoking Policy Can Cost You Money

Car Rentals Smoking Policy Can Cost You Money
In 2009, Avis Rent a Car and Budget Rent a Car began charging $250 for smoking in their fleet of rental cars. When this controversial policy went into effect, smokers and non-smokers alike held their breath to see what would happen. Now we know.

Smoking is expensive enough and can already damage your budget in various ways. Not only are the cigarettes themselves expensive, but they can cause life-threatening and catastrophically expensive healthcare costs. Smokers pay more for term life insurance rates too. Now they’re paying for smoking in rental cars too.

Non-Smoking Policies Expanding

More car companies are following suit. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, another major rental car company, has now begun their own $250 charge campaign to curb smoking in their cars. This means you can now safely choose these car companies to avoid the scents of stale cigarette smoke. But it also means that if you are a smoker, take extra care not to smoke in rental cars. Maybe a little sticker on the dashboard or on your pack of smokes will help remind you not to smoke and might prevent that hefty fine.

Smoke Free Rentals…Maybe

Other major car rental companies like Alamo and Enterprise have said their cars are smoke free, but they don’t have this $250 policy in place to help make sure the cars are indeed smoke free. Nor is it entirely clear just how good the inspections are at catching smokers–or even if the inspections are checking for recent smoking at all. So you won’t be guaranteed a smoke free car if you try these companies, which may or may not be what you want depending on whether you smoke or not.

Enforcing Non-Smoking Policies

But how are companies like Budget enforcing their $250 policy? Inspections can usually pick up whether or not the recent renter has been smoking. A quick sniff test can do the trick usually, but smoking leaves other telltale signs behind. A residue of all the little particles that come out in exhaled cigarette smoke and that drop off the end of the burning butt also make a mess of the car interior. They even go so far as to train inspectors with equipment that detects these smoking particles. By keeping track of inspections, they will know if a renter smoked. All of the damage to the interior of the car causes the rental car company to take more effort and time to clean a car whenever someone has been smoking in it. In addition, the car company has to pull the car from their fleet of available vehicles until the scent and the smoking residue has been cleaned up. During this time, they can’t rent the car out, which means they are missing potential profits.

These reasons are why the charges are being levied. After all, someone has to clean things up, and it probably isn’t going to be the person causing the damage to begin with. This wouldn’t even be possible because the average person renting a car isn’t going to have several weeks of time, a cleaning kit, or an aerosol can full of scent-destroying ozone to tackle the smoke odor. This means professionals working for the car company will have to do the cleaning.

So, if you’re a smoker, you now know which car companies to avoid–or at least be very careful while driving their cars–and if you’re a non-smoker, you know which rental car companies have smoke-free interiors to fit your lifestyle. Hope this helps! provides money-saving advice and life insurance information for families seeking to protect the financial well-being of their families.