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Kyle Thomas Haley of The Apartment Net, invites you to reprint this article in your publication, ezine, or on your website.

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    The Apartment Search
    Copyright © 1999-2005, Kyle Thomas Haley

    When you are apartment hunting, prepare a rental search plan. Be 
    sure to know in advance what you want in an apartment and what 
    you can live without. Decide in advance what areas of the city 
    you could consider living in and make a list of apartment 
    buildings within that perimeter.
    Be sure to consider how far and how convenient it will be for you 
    to travel to your job or your school or your family and friends. 
    Also, how far is the apartment from stores, banks, hospitals, 
    Church (if you attend) etc. If you have a car, make sure that 
    there is adequate and convenient parking space 24/7. If you don't 
    drive make sure that there is close by public transportation.
    Narrow your apartment locating to the size of rental unit you 
    need. Studio apartment or one bedroom apartment or 2 BR apartment 
    or more. Are you considering a furnished apartment or do you 
    possible need a short term rental. If you are renting an 
    apartment with a cat, dog, or other pet, you need to find out 
    which apartments allow renting with pets and which do not. And, 
    if they do allow pets, is there an additional security deposit 
    required and if so, how much it is. Do you need an apartment 
    complex with an exercise room or tennis courts or a pool or a 
    recreation room, etc. or do you simply need and desire a nice 
    clean and quiet pad.
    Be realistic about what you can afford. Most apartment renting 
    guides suggest that your rent should not be more than 25% to 30% 
    of your income. This can vary depending on the income bracket, 
    but be sure to be "real world" when budgeting additional 
    apartment expenses such as heating and air conditioning and other 
    utilities. If you fall short of affording the apartment of your 
    choice, you might consider sharing an apartment with a roommate 
    or roommates. Keep in mind that living with roommates can help 
    you afford an upscale apartment or even, in some cases, luxury 
    apartments, but it also has extreme restrictions to your privacy.
    If you are familiar with the area and its neighborhoods, that 
    gives you a distinct advantage for your apartment search. If, 
    however, you are relocating to a new city or are not particularly 
    knowledgeable about the city, you may want to contact an 
    Apartment Locator or an Apartment Finder.
    Once you narrow your search for apartments down to apts which 
    suit your needs and desires you must be well organized & well 
    prepared for your visits to the apartment complexes. When 
    inspecting the rental premises be on the alert for unsafe 
    conditions, excessive noise from traffic or playgrounds or 
    neighbors. Visit the apartment building at night as well as the 
    daytime hours. This will give you a more comprehensive 
    understanding of the total space you will be residing in.
    When you find the apartment complex that meets your renting needs 
    and desires, you must be ready to put your "best foot forward" 
    when you meet the apartment's rental agent. This person may be 
    the apartment building manager or a renting agent for the apts. 
    You should prepare for this apartment renting interview in a 
    professional and intelligent manner. Be advised that you are 
    going to be asked to provide proof that you are a reliable 
    prospective tenant. You are most likely going to need references 
    from previous landlords. You may also be required by the 
    apartments to show that you are gainfully employed and can afford 
    the rent. Many landlords may require a credit report. If you are 
    a first time renter and/or you have limited credit history you 
    may be asked for references from family, friends, employer, 
    professionals, etc. Likewise if you are renting with bad credit 
    you will certainly want to come to the interview with a strong 
    selection of references.
    You are not necessarily restricted from apartment renting with 
    less than perfect credit, but you may be required to put up an 
    additional security deposit and possibly have a credit worthy 
    person co-sign the apartment lease with you. Don't unprepared for 
    by requests for any of these things. Be sure to fill out a 100% 
    truthful apartment rental application and come to the interview 
    with references, proof of employment, credit information and any 
    other renting resources at the ready. If you do have a credit 
    history or renting history that might be detrimental, going 
    through an apartment locator or apartment finder may be the best 
    solution. They will present your history to the landlord for you, 
    (make sure they are 100% truthful about it) and they can also be 
    quite helpful and save you a lot of time because they most likely 
    will know which landlords and apartments are more lenient in 
    these circumstances. They can also advise you as to exactly what 
    kinds of references and documents you might need to prove that 
    you can be a responsible tenant.
    You Have Located Your "Dream Apartment"
    Once you have located your "dream apartment", or as close to your 
    perfect apartment as possible, now it is necessary to pay 
    extremely close attention to the particulars of the rental 
    agreement. An Apartment Lease is a contract between you and the 
    landlord. Once agreed upon and signed by the tenant and the 
    landlord, the rental lease creates obligations and restrictions 
    for both parties. The most obvious covenants of the apartment 
    lease are the length of the rental, (Six month lease, one year 
    lease, two year lease, etc.) The amount of the security deposit, 
    when the rent is due, who is responsible for what utilities. Also 
    in that apartment lease, however, are stipulations, (sometimes in 
    small print) that can cover a great variety of landlord and 
    tenant obligations and restrictions. They can include, but are 
    not limited to, the following:
     * Maintenance of the apartment 
     * Care of the premises
     * Cleanliness 
     * Insurance 
     * Governmental regulations 
     * Eminent Domain 
     * Nuisance and noise clauses
     * Stipulations as to the circumstances whereby the landlord 
       can enter the premises 
     * Use of Common Areas 
     * Keys and locks 
     * Loss or damage
     * Parking
     * Pets 
     * Plumbing
     * What the landlord may do if the rent is in arrears 
     * What the tenant can do to bring the rent current before 
       any kind of action might be started 
     * Non performance or breach of the contract by the renter 
     * Renter's penalties in the event of early termination
     * Circumstances which might cause the tenant or the landlord 
       to break the lease prior to the end of the term 
     * Heat and other utilities 
     * Removal of goods 
     * Surrender or Non-Surrender of the premises 
     * Waivers of various obligations 
     * Prohibited reprisals 
     * Garbage disposal 
     * Recyclables 
     * And the list goes on and on and on.
    Prospective tenants should read an Apartment lease thoroughly. 
    Prospective apartment renters should understand everything that 
    is contained in that lease and make an informed decision to be 
    100% accepting of all the provisions for both the tenant and the 
    landlord, that you are positive that you can live up to your end 
    of the bargain and that you are comfortable with the provisions 
    on the landlord's end.
    If you do not understand every single clause of that apartment 
    lease then do not sign it until you do understand it. If 
    necessary and if possible, request assistance in interpreting the 
    lease from a trusted source such as a knowledgeable friend or 
    family member or employer or professional, or anyone else who can 
    understand it and explain it to you. If necessary get legal 
    advice. It can cost additional funds if you do not qualify for 
    free legal assistance, but that additional cost might save you a 
    ton of money and save you a ton of heartache and aggravation down 
    the road.
    If you do not agree with any of the provisions of that apartment 
    lease and/or you feel that you can't live up to the tenant's 
    obligations, or if you are not in agreement with any of the 
    landlord's rights under the agreement, then do not sign the lease 
    until/or unless it can be changed to your satisfaction. If the 
    apartment rental agreement cannot be amended to meet your needs 
    and desires and comfort level then do not sign the lease and do 
    not rent that apartment. The Apartment Rental agreement that you 
    sign as a prospective tenant will not change once you become the 
    actual tenant of that apartment.
    Good luck in your apartment search and good luck in your new 

    Writer's Resource Box:
    Kyle Thomas Haley has been helping people relocate on the 
    Internet since 1999 with Apartment and Relocation Websites:
    The Apartment Net
    Relocation and Moving Guide
    Copyright 1999  2005 STANZEEKAY Inc. 

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