Olivia Larson
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Basic Apartment Viewing Etiquette

So you’re currently on the prowl not just for a new but also for the perfect apartment. As a responsible adult, finding a new place to live is something we have to do at some point in our lives. Has it ever dawned on you that the apartment hunt is not the only thing you have to consider?

It’s something that we tend to forget, but proper etiquette or decorum is something we have to consider as well. We have to present ourselves accordingly to our future landlords, yes? They are the ones who will have the final say if they will have you as their tenant or not.

Scheduling the Apartment Viewing

You can’t simply visit the apartment you're considering and surprise your landlord unannounced. Everyone is busy and no one wants to wait, especially you. We know you’re excited about moving in to a new place but please, take into consideration that your future landlord is just like you -- s/he has stuff to attend to and has a schedule of his/her own. We strongly suggest calling in the landlord first and ask to be scheduled. Provide your most available and convenient time and work it from there. Find a schedule that will work for the both of you.

Prepare For The Apartment Viewing Schedule

Think of this whole process as an interview. From the moment you arrive at the apartment you have to be impressionable. While touring the whole place, the landlord will ‘interview’ you. You get to interview the landlord as well. Be polite and consider your appearance.

Don’t arrive looking haggard and homeless. The safety of the tenants and neighbors is the landlord’s best interest. They have their pick who they want to have as tenants. This process is critical, one wrong move will send you back to square one -- which is finding the next property all over again.

Polish Your Credit Score

Cleaning up your credit report is something that you should have done a long time ago, especially if the property you are eyeing requires a particular credit score. Please keep in mind that any responsible landlord will most likely run a credit check to get a thorough view of your overall financial history. Your financial history speaks a lot about you. Your credit score and history will give your landlord an idea of how responsible a tenant are you. Every landlord wants a responsible renter who can make their monthly rent payment on time.

Come Prepared to Rent

We can’t be entirely sure that the apartment we are going to viewing is the one. Still come prepared. If the location of the apartment you’re vying for is located in a competitive market area, there's a good chance of someone else getting the place.

Bring necessary documents with you such as your proof of employment, proof of income, W2, and tax forms when doing an apartment tour. Bring a pen in case you’ll be needing to fill out necessary forms.

Be prepared to pay a holding fee or put down the security deposit in case you do find the perfect apartment. However, if you find that the apartment is not for you, then simply move along to the next property.

Viewing Alone or With a Group?

It's a good idea to bring the whole group who’s going to stay in the apartment with you. Those you bring with you during the apartment visit will be assumed to be those who will be moving in with you. Let the landlord know that you will not be the only one who will be occupying the place. If you’re moving in with your kids, make sure they behave. Don’t let them run around the place wildly. Technically, the apartment is not yet yours. If there are tenants who are still occupying the place during your visit, they probably do not want you there snooping around their place, but they know the landlord needs to show the apartment to you.

Also Consider Moving Day Etiquette

So you got the place you want, and you’re now officially the tenant, that’s great news! The last part of the process you have to consider is the actual moving in. Consider the time of day you will be moving in to your new place. During the morning (think 8:00 a.m.) is a good time. If you’re moving in late (after 6:00 p.m.), it will probably be wise to reschedule your moving-in to the next day. Your neighbors and the other tenants would want to go on with their day and will probably not appreciate the inconvenience of noise and commotion at night.

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