How to Rent an Apartment for the First Time

Renting an apartment for the first time can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you’re used to living with your parents or family. One of the most difficult things about renting an apartment for the first time is that you may not have an established credit history, and that can work against you when trying to secure an apartment. Luckily, renting your first apartment is quite easy as long as you know what to do.


1. Define your needs and budget first. Before you even start looking for apartments, you’ll need to know how much space you require and how much money you have to spend. Take some time to think seriously about this because it is the main determining factor in what type of apartment you’ll end up with.

2. Start looking for apartments in a number of places such as online classified listings and apartment rental magazines.  Once you find apartments that you like, you can schedule showings. Try to schedule at least 3-4 showings at a minimum. This increases your chances of being accepted as a new tenant and gives you more options to choose from.

3. Carefully evaluate each apartment. Make sure that you spend enough time inside each apartment to get a good feel for what it would be like living there. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions to the rental agent or landlord who’s showing you the apartment. Consider all the factors related to the apartment before making your decision. Price is important but location, cleanliness, and the overall condition of the apartment are also crucial factors to consider.

4. Negotiate the rental terms. Once you choose an apartment, you’ll need to negotiate the rental terms with the landlord or leasing agency. This includes the length of the lease, security deposit, and other lease terms such as whether or not pets are allowed. This is also a good time to negotiate the price of the rent and security deposit amount. Remember that all of these things are negotiable, so don’t get fooled into thinking that they aren’t.

5. Sign your lease and make your first payment. Once you’re happy with the rental terms, you can sign the lease and make your first payment to make it official. If you do have any questions about the fine print on the lease, make sure to have someone you trust look it over before you actually sign it.


Be upfront and honest about the fact that you’ve never rented an apartment before. Most landlords are accustomed to working with first time renters and are generally willing to guide you through the process. The same thing applies to your security deposit–if you’re having trouble getting all the money together at once, most landlords will allow you to pay the security deposit over the course of a few months along with your monthly payment in order to make it easier.

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Filed in: Real Estate

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