Know your rights before renting an apartment
The decision about whether to rent an apartment or buy a home is complicated, because each offers different advantages. Apartment life is convenient and flexible; buying a home provides stability and is typically seen as a good investment.
If you are moving to Orlando, Fla., the recent rise in the median price of a home might sway your decision. The housing market is rebounding in Orlando, and home prices rose 22.04 percent in 2012. Rising home prices make renting a necessity for some people, but even if you can afford to buy, renting can be a smart financial choice, especially if you find an apartment that suits your lifestyle perfectly.
The Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund provides a free downloadable booklet explaining your rights and responsibilities as a renter. Knowing your rights in advance will help you make informed decisions and avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous or ill-informed landlord.
Find out which Orlando neighborhoods are best suited to your lifestyle. Orlando is a large, sprawling city with several suburbs. Choosing a neighborhood close to your workplace may seem like the most practical option, but once you know the different amenities each neighborhood has to offer, a short commute may become less of a priority. For example, if you enjoy being in the center of the action, close to shopping and restaurants, Baldwin Park, Windermere and College Park are neighborhoods where you might enjoy living. If a family-oriented neighborhood is more to your liking, consider Lake Nona or the suburb city, Lake Mary.
To get a real feel for a neighborhood, get out of the car and walk around it. Visit the parks, grocery store and corner cafe so you can decide if you would feel safe and comfortable living in the area. The same advice applies once you’ve found an apartment complex you’re interested in. Look for signs of wear and tear that could indicate maintenance neglect. If possible talk to the neighbors and try to find out:
- Whether the complex is quiet
- How quickly the landlord handles repairs
- How the landlord responds to complaints
- If the residents seem friendly
- If they would recommend the complex to friends
Strike a bargain
To get the best deal on Orlando apartments, take an honest assessment of your needs. Do you really require two bedrooms, or would a spacious one-bedroom and a pull-out couch in the living room work? An apartment complex that provides amenities like on-site laundry service, a 24-hour gym, housekeeping and garage parking can be economical if you actually need those services and would pay separately for them if they weren’t provided. If you don’t currently use a gym or pay a housekeeper, then an apartment with a lower price and fewer frills is probably a better fit for you.
You might also be able to negotiate the monthly costs if you’re bold enough to ask for discounts. Pet deposits or fees for extra parking are sometimes negotiable, but don’t wait for the landlord to make the first move. Though the price of rent is usually firm, agreeing to a longer lease may result in a small decrease.
Though renter’s needs vary, an apartment that provides a safe, comfortable home base from which you can experience the city is ideal. Your chances of finding the ideal apartment increase if you take the time to become informed about the rental laws and neighborhoods in Orlando. Once you’ve settled in, it’s time to start enjoying the special events and activities your new home town has to offer.
Renting an Apartment – How To Video
About the Author
Grady Winston is an avid internet entrepreneur and copywriter from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.