What to Look for When Renting an Apartment: 2024 Checklist

Feb 23 2024

Every first-time renter can use a checklist to help them get organised in their brand-new home. Renting a new apartment can be daunting – but at The Marches we’re here to break down your responsibilities into manageable portions and turn you into a taskmaster!

In this guide, The Marches shares our top tips for what to look for in an apartment as a first-time renter. So once the stressful task of apartment hunting is over, you can actually start to enjoy your new home.

Want the out-of-town feel while being near the buzzing capital city of London? Get the best of both with a luxury apartment at The Marches. Enjoy serene canal-side walks from a contemporary abode in Woking. Find your place to call home today.

Woking could be the perfect place for you If you’re looking to live a short car ride from Central London without the bustle of the city to navigate. Discover what life is like at The Marches today.

Your first time renter checklist

Here is a comprehensive list of things to bear in mind throughout the process of moving into an apartment for the first time. Lets get started!

Find out about pet policies

If you’re a pet owner, remember to check the pet policy of your prospective apartment. Confirm the types and sizes of pets allowed, any associated fees, and if there are nearby parks or walking areas suitable for your furry friend.

A pet-friendly environment contributes to a more enjoyable living experience, and at The Marches we’re pleased to say all of our stylish one and two-bedroom apartments welcome pets, so no need to worry about leaving any four-legged friends behind.

Familiarise yourself with parking facilities

Things to look for when renting an apartment should include parking consideration if you’re a driver. Check if the apartment comes with dedicated parking, and if not, explore the availability and cost of street parking or nearby facilities.

You can use this find a carpark tool on the Woking Borough council website to help you search for nearby parking.

Be aware of any restrictions or permits required for residents, ensuring convenient and secure parking options.

Check smoke alarms

Prioritise your safety by checking smoke alarms are functional. These devices are not only a legal requirement but also crucial for early detection in case of fire.

Test them during your visit to ensure they are in proper working condition.

Understand the terms of your security deposit

Understand the purpose and terms of the security deposit. This amount is typically held by the landlord to cover potential damages.

Clarify the conditions under which it will be returned, ensuring a transparent and fair agreement.

Be certain about your expected bills

Things to consider when renting an apartment extend beyond the rent itself. Before you start searching for a home, you need to put together a list of monthly expenses such as utility bills, council tax, and internet.

Clearly understand which bills are included in the rent and which ones you’ll be responsible for, allowing you to budget effectively and avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Do your research on your agency or landlords

Whether you’re going through an agency or direct through an independent landlord, doing research on them is very important. Look for reviews online, inquire about their responsiveness, and assess their reputation.

A responsible and approachable landlord can significantly contribute to a positive living experience, making your tenancy more enjoyable and may mean any repairs, maintenance and transactions are as smooth as they should be.

Location of your potential home

Evaluate the location based on your priorities. Consider factors such as proximity to work, public transport, local amenities, recreational activities and safety.

It seems obvious, but neglecting these factors could make for a very stressful living experience – so find a location that aligns with your lifestyle.

Special Conditions of the lease

Carefully read and understand the lease agreement. Take note of any special conditions, such as restrictions on modifications to the property, responsibilities for maintenance, or other obligations.

Clarity on these terms will prevent misunderstandings down the line.

Get ahead of rent hikes

What to look for in an apartment should include future considerations about potential increases in expenses. Inquire about the possibility of rent increases during your tenancy.

Some leases may include clauses allowing the landlord to adjust the rent after a certain period. Knowing this in advance helps you plan for potential future expenses and ensures financial stability.

Check the appliances

Inspect the condition and functionality of appliances provided with the apartment. Confirm their suitability for your needs and inquire about maintenance and repair policies. Well-maintained appliances contribute to a hassle-free living experience.

Make sure you can afford the property

Evaluate the overall cost of living in the apartment, considering both rent and additional expenses.

Establish a budget that allows for comfortable living and ensures financial stability throughout your tenancy.

At The Marches we do what we can to minimise your expenses, such as our flatfair partnership to reduce your deposit and our neighbourhood heroes discounts to help you get out and enjoying your time with us while saving money.

Consider the amenities

Things to look for when renting an apartment also include the amenities offered by the apartment complex.

Whether it’s a gym, communal spaces, or a concierge service, these features can enhance your living experience and contribute to a sense of community.

If you’re considering a home with us, you can head over to our whats on at The Marches page to see what we have on the cards to enrich your week and pad out your social calendar. As for the amenities we offer, we’re happy to show you what life is like at the Marches for our residents, so have a gander and see if the lifestyle matches your hopes for your future.

Contract period

Understand the duration of the lease. Determine if a short-term or long-term lease is more suitable for your plans and lifestyle. This clarity ensures that your living situation aligns with your future goals. This should be made clear on any lettings agency adverts but if in doubt it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Determine your budget

Establish a realistic budget that covers all expenses associated with renting. This includes rent, bills, insurance, and other living costs. Knowing your financial limits helps in making informed decisions during your apartment search.

According to Experian’s 30% rule, you should try to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent.

Organise your move

Plan your move in advance. Arrange for necessary services like removals, and notify relevant parties of your change of address. A well-organised move sets the tone for a smooth transition into your new living space.

Safety checks

Inspect the safety features of the property, including locks, windows, and emergency exits. Your well-being is paramount, so ensure the apartment meets safety standards for a secure living environment.

Tenancy agreement

Read the tenancy agreement thoroughly before signing. Seek clarification on any terms you find unclear, and ensure you’re comfortable with the conditions outlined.

A clear understanding of the agreement is important and it can’t hurt to have a friend or relative have a look over it too.

Transport links

Assess the availability of public transport and how it aligns with your commuting needs. Convenient transport options contribute to the accessibility of your chosen location.

What are the neighbours Like

If possible, chat with current residents or observe the atmosphere to get a sense of the community. Friendly neighbours contribute to a positive living experience, fostering a sense of belonging and community spirit.

Who is responsible for what utilities

Clarify which utilities are included in the rent and which ones you’re responsible for. This transparency is essential for managing your monthly expenses effectively and avoiding any unexpected financial burdens.

Ticked off our first-time renter checklist?

Prepare yourself with this comprehensive checklist for renting an apartment and allow the Marches to empower you, keeping you confident and making informed decisions when renting an apartment for the first time in 2024.

Put what you’ve just learned to use with a luxury apartment at The Marches

Are you looking for a brand new start in Woking? A thrilling new chapter awaits you, so feel free to make your move and book a viewing today. You can also call us on 0148 395 8555 if you have other queries and our friendly team will be thrilled to help.

Enquire now