There are many things that a tenant should look for when searching for a place to rent. A tenant should consider location, cost of rent, cost of utilities, and other factors before choosing an apartment. There are also several precautions that a tenant should take before renting from a landlord.
First, a tenant should never sign a lease without doing a walkthrough of the unit themselves. Sometimes a tenant will be given a walkthrough of an apartment similar to the one that is available to rent, but not the exact unit. A tenant should insist on seeing the exact apartment that they are going to rent before signing the lease in case the unit differs from the one they have been shown. If it turns out that the unit differs but the tenant doesn’t find out until after they’ve signed the lease, it can be difficult for the tenant to get out of the lease if they wish to.
A tenant should also do a walkthrough of the unit and document any changes or problems that need to be fixed before signing the lease. A tenant should not accept a unit that is not clean or in proper working order. It is important that the tenant do this before signing the lease so that they do not accept a unit that is not up to par. All of this should be documented with a copy for the landlord and the tenant (see Documentation).
Finally, if a tenant is looking to rent a unit through housing authority of Section 8 housing, be sure to ask the landlord first thing if they accept Section 8 housing. This will save the tenant a great amount of time looking at units that turn out to not accept Section 8 and will make the search for a place to rent go much faster.