Many families move each year in search of opportunity and a new place to live. For those currently undergoing the task, searching for an apartment can be a daunting process. Your BBB would like to offer these consumer tips in an effort to help you make more informed decisions while involved in the process of leasing a new place to live.
There are many things to consider when you are apartment hunting. Before you begin your search, here are a couple of things to consider.
1. Rent. Determine how much can you afford and still live comfortably taking all of your expenses into consideration. One rule of thumb suggests dividing your income by four. Your rent should not exceed more than 25% of your monthly income.
2. Space. How many people will be living in the unit? 100-400 square feet per person is considered practical.
3. Location. How important is it for you to be near your place of work, school, shopping, medical facilities etc.?
Before signing any lease you should always make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Keep in mind that The Georgia Landlord Tenant Law ensures that everyone who lives in rental housing has a decent place to live.
The Georgia Tenants Handbook, a handy resource guide, is published by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and is available online at www.dca.ga.gov under Publications.
Your BBB suggests that you make sure the following information is included in your lease:
Upon move-in, do not forget to document the condition of your apartment. Make sure that your list includes each and every flaw or defect in your apartment so that you are not held responsible for damages later. It's advisable to also take photos or a video of your unit prior to move-in so that you have documentation available in case a dispute arises when you get ready to move-out.
Your BBB also suggests renters:
For more tips you can trust or to check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.org.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia & the CSRA, Inc. serving 41 counties in Central Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at Phone: 1-800-763-4222, Web site: www.bbb.org or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com