Apartments for Rent: Our 6 best tips including checklists!
It’s a bit like a date. Of course you can fall in love at first sight, but it’s usually worth a second look – and a third. If youre looking for apartments for rent, it is also important to keep your eyes and ears open and take a close look to see whether you really like what you see. Above all, whether you like what’s behind the facade. If so, then you just have to convince the other side of yourself.
We explain here how this balancing act is guaranteed to succeed. So that you don’t miss anything, you don’t get any surprises after the viewing and how you sell yourself well. We want to make the most important thing clear right at the start.
Tip 1: Apartments For Rent: Don’t allow yourself to be blinded or put under pressure
What we want to say: Yes, you are looking for an apartment. But the landlord is also looking for a reliable tenant. Don’t feel compelled to jump into the first apartment you see. But look very closely. If the initial euphoria for an apartment holds up to its promise, then it’s worth fighting for the dream apartment.
Our checklist should help you identify the pros and cons about apartment for rent :
- Is there enough daylight shining into the apartment? Which rooms hardly get any sun? Therefore, always visit in daylight.
- Does the apartment have everything you are looking for? For example, a fitted kitchen, a balcony or a bathtub. You should think about this in advance.
- Are the rooms divided in such a way that they meet your requirements and needs? For example, does a connecting room bother you?
- Will you have enough storage space?
- How loud is it in the apartment? Can you hear the neighbors or the street?
- How is the apartment heated? How are the radiators distributed?
- Are there enough sockets and are they in the right places?
- Is there a satellite or cable connection for televisions?
- Do the windows have blinds? Do they work too?
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Apartments for Rent: Questions you should also ask
Arrive prepared. Feel free to write down questions as well as the answers on site. Think about what you want to know about your future apartment.
We give you some examples of important general questions. You can use this checklist as a guide. But some of them might not be relevant to you at all. Like, for example, the question about parking options. However, other more specific questions could be crucial for you. For example, are there good routes for jogging nearby?
After viewing the apartment, you should have all the information you need to make a decision.
Such questions could be, for example:
- What additional costs should you expect? What are additional costs charged for?
- How high are the expected heating costs?
- When does the most sunlight fall on your balcony or terrace?
- What is rented? What does the apartment include? Like a parking space, a basement or attic?
- Are there dedicated bicycle parking spaces? And also which one for a stroller?
- What should be replaced by the previous tenant? For example a kitchen or even furniture.
- Are there house rules such as fixed rest times, use of washrooms or shared tasks in the garden?
- How should the infrastructure and location be assessed? Can the landlord or previous tenant say something about shopping opportunities, public transport, green spaces or doctors nearby?
Tip 2: Apartments For Rent: Snap Photos
You have to know: Taking photos without permission is prohibited. Be sure to ask the landlord or agent for permission. Especially if the apartment is still occupied by the previous tenants, you are exceeding the limits of privacy.
If there are no objections then go ahead. Photos and even videos will help you remember the visit later. It’s easier for you to compare different apartments with each other. And your own photos give a more realistic picture of the apartment than the perfectly staged images from an apartment ad.
If possible, avoid artificial lighting when taking photos. This way you will later have a feeling for how bright the apartment is during the day.
Tip 3: Apartments For Rent: Go for a walk
Take a few minutes before your visit and walk around the block or neighborhood. This will give you a good impression of your potential new area.
Do you discover cafés and shopping opportunities? How far away is public transport? Do you have green spaces nearby? Does the area seem quiet or busy? And above all, what do you actually value?
The viewing should generally take place in daylight. But we also recommend taking a walk around in the afternoon to get an idea of everyday life in the district.
Tip 4: Apartments For Rent: Bring reinforcements
Everyone who wants to live in the apartment later should come to the viewing. Everyone should make their own personal impression. The agent or landlord also wants to get to know all potential tenants.
If possible, you can also bring a neutral outside person with you. Four eyes see more than two. In addition, someone who is not involved in the decision can give you an objective look at the pros and cons of the property.
Tip 5: Apartments For Rent: Everything in its own time
During the inspection, you should definitely look out for defects in addition to the points already mentioned above.
- How is the insulation?
- Do you see any traces of mold or water stains? Scratches, flaws, stains or other damage to walls and floors?
- Do you notice any necessary repairs?
- Are all faucets and toilet flushing working?
- What condition are the windows and doors in?
- Would you want to renovate the bathroom?
- Would you take over the fitted kitchen like this?
Now you have recognized and checked all of this during the inspection. But don’t be too quick to talk to the landlord or agent about it. You would fall with the door into the house that has not yet been rented.
Instead, ask whether the landlord is planning renovation work or would generally be willing to renovate.
You will discuss all defects when you are one step further and meet with the landlord for pre-acceptance. However, before you move and before you have signed the rental agreement.
Tip 6: Apartments For Rent: Appear friendly but confident
The impression you leave begins when you make contact. From the apartment ad you can see whether the landlord or agent would like to be contacted by email or phone call. Speak to your contact person directly. Clarify immediately which apartment you are interested in. Give the most important information about yourself at the first contact. Ask specifically for a viewing appointment, if possible an individual appointment and during the day.
Your clothing and appearance won’t determine whether you get the apartment, but these factors still affect your appearance. As long as you arrive at your appointment well-groomed and properly dressed, you are doing everything right.
What’s more important is: be punctual, friendly and interested.
Arrive on time for the agreed appointment, approach the landlord or agent, introduce yourself, answer all questions and ask some yourself. When you say goodbye, you clearly state whether you are still interested in the residential property.
If you are particularly fond of the apartment or house, then keep in touch with the landlord.
What questions are we actually talking about? So that you don’t forget anything during your visit, we have summarized a few for you.
Apartments For Rent: Individual viewing vs. group viewing
The current situation and the current contact gifts due to the corona pandemic have changed the apartment search and the processes for apartment viewings somewhat. Group visits are currently not possible. Individual visits only take place in compliance with hygiene regulations and with sufficient distance.
Nevertheless, group visits will soon be possible again. Until then, use the individual appointments to your advantage.
While you try to collect as much information as possible, you also need to leave a positive, lasting impression on the agent or landlord. If no one remembers you, your chances are slim.
To stay top of mind, score points with manners, attentiveness and by sharing something personal about yourself. The landlord is not interested in small talk. He wants to know who his tenants are. Therefore, answer questions honestly and directly. Conversely, ask specific questions and thereby signal interest.
Unfortunately, with group viewings you have less time to talk to the landlord. But it is precisely then that it is even more important to be remembered by the decision-maker. Introduce yourself personally, state your questions, thank you for the viewing and say goodbye in person with your first decision. If you are genuinely interested, then you should say so. You can ignore your fellow interested parties during this time. Avoid competition.
In any case, it is worth staying in contact with the landlord or agent if you receive a rejection. Ask if there is another property available to view. This saves you the first application steps.
Renting vs. Buying
So far we have assumed this to be a rental property. First of all, it doesn’t make a huge difference whether you buy or rent an apartment. When viewing, you always have to be attentive and check everything carefully, keep your own needs in mind, get a good overall impression of the apartment, the building and the surrounding area and at the same time convince yourself.
Nevertheless, when making a purchase decision, there are other factors that you have to take into account and more responsibility that you have to bear as the owner.
So that you are optimally prepared when viewing a property for sale, we have created a checklist with the most important points that need to be clarified.
Apartments For Rent: Talk to the seller about:
- the build year
- the condition of the object
- the last renovation or planned renovations
- the energy certificate
- the floor plan
- the house Rules
- the equipment of the apartment
Conversely, the seller may want information, documents and evidence from you. Prepare all documents regarding creditworthiness and financing. If you are asked about it during the viewing, you can score points straight away. Documents that are often requested include current salary statements, credit information or similar to prove your creditworthiness.
If you want to live here yourself after buying it, the house or apartment should of course meet your needs and requirements. If you want to rent out, think about who in advance. Finally, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the apartment suit your desired tenants?
- Who else lives in the shared house?
- Which tenants does the location attract?
Otherwise, stick to the same points as listed above. It is just as important for buyers to identify defects, check the room layout and assess light and noise conditions as it is for tenants.
While you want to know everything about the residential property, the landlords or agents want to collect information about you. Be prepared for questions.
Frequently asked questions
In contrast to interested parties, landlords are not allowed to ask every question. At least interested parties don’t have to answer every question. Accordingly, you only need to be prepared for the so-called permissible questions. You can reject all inadmissible questions.
Finally, landlords also have the opportunity to inquire about potential tenants in other ways, but only on rent-related questions.
The above-mentioned permissible questions that may be asked are:
- Demand for the workplace and earnings of all tenants
- Questions about the financial situation and economic situation of all tenants
- The number of family members, roommates or partners who should move in
- Whether you bring animals into the household
- Whether and which musical instruments you play
The inadmissible topics and questions that you do not have to answer are:
- Questions about your nationality
- About your religion or belief
- About your marital status
- Whether you are pregnant or planning children
- Why you’re moving
- Whether you have a criminal record
- Questions about your legal protection insurance
- Whether you smoke
- Inquiries about membership in a party or association
- After a residence permit
- Whether you have any illnesses
- How often you get visitors
- What are your hobbies
Expect to receive a written questionnaire or a tenant self-disclosure form that you will be asked to fill out. The landlord will not be able to have a detailed discussion with every interested party. Answer the questions asked there in detail and conscientiously.
In addition, the landlord or agent may also ask for documents and records to collect more information about you. If you have all the documents you want with you during the viewing, you could be one step ahead of other interested parties.
Apartments For Rent: Which documents are important when viewing the apartment?
Prospective tenants are not obliged to disclose personal information about themselves. But if requested by the landlord, this information will also be included in the decision-making process. By not submitting any documents, you may be at a disadvantage compared to other interested parties.
Such documents that are often asked for are some form of proof of creditworthiness, such as a credit report. Often also proof of salary in the form of pay slips or even bank statements. In this case, you can and should black out all non-relevant data. You can also ask your previous landlord for a certificate of freedom from rent debt. Or you can bring a guarantee.
It is now common practice to bring an applicant folder with your CV and all other relevant documents to the viewing. This means the landlord has all the information at a glance.
Apartments For Rent: How long does an apartment inspection take?
Clearly, the length of an apartment viewing depends on how much there is to see and discuss. The more rooms are viewed, the longer the appointment takes. Depending on the condition of the apartment, you may have more or fewer questions.
Basically, take your time to examine everything carefully. However, if you stay in the apartment significantly longer than other interested parties, you could attract negative attention. A pain threshold for a detailed, but not excessively long, viewing is 45 minutes. After this deadline, you should say goodbye in a friendly manner.
If youre looking for apartments for rent do not miss our guide.