When you are moving into an apartment for the first time, it should a fun and exciting time for you. Of course, it can also be a little stressful at times. Everything along the way is new to you, so it is easy to feel a little overwhelmed throughout everything. Don’t rush into your signing the contract for your first apartment, read through our helpful checklist first.

1. Finding an apartment – this is now a lot easier than it once was, this is mainly down to the internet. You should use all comparison sites you can and read all helpful information that you can find. Take a look at Friendly Rentals’ apartments if you need any advice making your decision.

2. Check your credit – you need to make sure that your credit is in good shape. Agents will check your credit rating before allowing you to sign for an apartment, if you have a good credit rating then believe me the whole process will be a lot easier for you.

3. Set your budget – You need to take a seat and decide how much you can afford before looking for an apartment. Some people measure their rent at a maximum of a third their monthly salary. You need to make sure that you leave enough money after paying rent to pay your bills, food and all utility costs. You need to have some money saved in the bank before you move in to your apartment, living from month to month waiting for your pay check will never make life easy.

4. Limit the reach of your search – There are lots of apartments in any major city, but it doesn’t mean that they will all be suitable for you, in fact most of them won’t meet all of your requirements. From the start of your search you need to decide exactly what is important to you. You can easily narrow your search by budget, number of beds, number of bathrooms. Then there are also other important factors such as the distance you will have to commute to work, the type of neighbourhood, the local amenities and if the apartment is pet friendly (if that is what you require).  

5. Understand the contract before you sign it – Once you have followed all of the above points and are ready to sign on the dotted line for your perfect apartment, you need to be sure that you understand clearly what you are committing to. You need to be sure about the main points, like when your monthly rate is due, what are the penalties for paying the rent late. Also read the small print to check what utilities are included in the rent, and if you are allowed to make any changes such as painting a wall. You need to also get a copy of the contract for your reference, make sure your copy is a copy signed by both parties.