Thursday, September 4, 2014

5 Tips for Avoiding Awful Neighbors in a Rental

5 Tips for Avoiding Awful Neighbors in a Rental photoYou’ve considered a new apartment from every angle. It has enough space for a home office, the porch would be perfect for relaxing after work, and the community gym is top-notch … but what about your potential neighbors?
Even if you don’t see yourself making small talk around the laundry machine or celebrating with your neighbors around a fire pit,awful neighbors can ruin your rental experience.
Here are some awful neighbor lowlights to watch out for:
  • Late night parties: There’s little worse than having to get up early for work when your neighbors have been blaring rock music all night.
  • Fights: Your neighbors may not fight with you. However, if they fight with each other, it puts you in a horrible position.
  • Dirty common areas: The porch may look clean now, but did the landlord clean up right before he showed you the place?
  • Frequent visits from the landlord: Loud, disruptive neighbors mean the landlord is around more often, and that can make you feel like you have little privacy.
However, you can avoid the drama with a little bit of research before you sign your lease. These five tips can save you a lot of grief.
Ask the Landlord
Most landlords won’t confide in you about problems with particular tenants (and you should be suspicious if they do), but you can get an idea by asking how long other tenants have lived in the building.
If the landlord tells you some tenants have been there for years—but the occupants of your potential apartment vacated after the lease was up, awful neighbors could be to blame.
Check Out Open Spaces
When you’re touring the grounds, pay close attention to patios and other common areas where tenants gather and live. If you notice heaps of clutter or trash, be wary. Clutter and debris could eventually over spill into the hallway next to your apartment.
Visit at Night
Most tenants work during the day—if that’s the only time you visit, you won’t get a real feel for the building. If you’re able, return at night or on the weekend and drive through the property. If the neighbors are playing loud music—or just being loud themselves—it’s a big red flag.
Read Reviews
Many websites allow former and current tenants to post reviews. Read reviews before you rent and keep an eye out for recent reviews that discuss other tenants. It can be a good indication of who lives there now, but be careful with what you read online.
Meet the Neighbors
Finally, don’t hesitate to get out and meet the neighbors. After you’ve done your walkthrough, strike up a conversation with any other tenants you see. Most will be happy to tell you what they think of their apartments, the management, and the neighbors. And don’t forget to ask residents in nearby homes or other apartment complexes, especially if they share common green space or walls.
If a complex has a bad reputation, nearby residents will know about it.

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