Ask the Readers: Save Money on Rent? (Chance to win $20!)

By Linsey Knerl on 16 March 2010 (Updated 23 March 2010) 50 comments

*** Congrats to our winners! ***

  • Comment #14: Take a Drive Around the Block  Submitted by bhleigh on March 16, 2010 - 16:17. I recently went looking for a new apartment in Alameda, CA. I had trolled through the local management companies and complexes advertising on Craigslist, which resulted in nothing decent. I called my Father adn asked for some advice. He told me to drive around the block and look for places with signs up. I spent three hours driving aroudn the niehgborhoods and found a great spot. It was not advertised in the paper or online and was half the price of other places with more space. So take a drive through the neighborhood and just might find your new place around the block.
  • leofair  Try housesitting if your living situation is flexible. That can equal absolutely free or dramatically reduced rent. #wbask

We get a lot of email asking us about apartment-hunting, rental properties, and finding cheap (but lovely) places to rent.  As a farmgirl with only a couple of years' experiences in the "rental market," I'm pleased to say I haven't really had to deal with it much.  I know that our readers, do, however.  What are your tips for finding cheap rent?  Do you have stellar solutions for making the most of each square foot?  Or maybe you have some advice for getting back your deposit?

We'd love to hear what you have to say.  You are the experts! Share your thoughts, either below in the comments or on Twitter, and you could be entered to win one of two Amazon gift cards!

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate

We're doing two giveaways — one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Friday, March 19th at 11:59 am CST. Winners will be announced after March 19th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

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Guest's picture
Amber

In the DC market - which is where I live - the single biggest factor in price of an apartment is proximity to the metro. One can benefit from this by either being willing to take a bus or walk a ways. I live in a place that is far from walking distance, even for an avid walker, but lies on several bus lines. Many of the apartment buildings in my area are reasonably priced.

Guest's picture
Dangerman

I've got ~10% discounts by being willing to prepay up to 3 months at a time in advance. Just make sure you have it in writing that you're prepaying.

Guest's picture
Kellye

It's amazing what you can find if you just go through your social network enquiring about a place for rent, rather than trying to go strictly through the apartment industry.

I let several people at work know I was looking for a new place to get out of my ridiculously overpriced rent and I ended up finding a guy at work who had a 15 acre lot and a fairly well-maintained trailer he was willing to rent out for $250 a month in exchange for upkeep on the place. Granted, it is a bit of a commute, but you can't beat 15 acres and a two-bedroom mobile home with a stick!

My rent to this guy basically covers land taxes for him (the property is otherwise paid off) and that's it. If someone has property to rent and they know you personally, the entire move is bound to go more smoothly and you're more likely to get a fair shake.

Guest's picture
gt0163c

It's been a while since I've rented but here's some of how I got cheap rent:
- Rent in older complexes. I knew the area I wanted to live in. Within that zip code there were many apartments. The newer ones were much more expensive but also had nice amenities (which I knew I'd never use), garages (again, didn't need), came with washer and dryer (I have my own) and the like. I got comparable square footage, and acceptable living conditions just by renting a mile or so away from the nicer places.
- Look (and ask) for discounts. I got a discount due to my employer. I was able to lock in that discount by signing a year lease (apartment complexes in my area seem to change management companies at least every other year. And rents change accordingly).

I never had any problems getting my deposit back either. Before moving any of my stuff in, I went through the apartment and noted in detail anything that might be considered a flaw or damage. I turned one copy of that inventory into the complex office and kept another for my records. While living in the apartments, I called in any and all maintenance concerns and then kept calling the office if they didn't get fixed. (Had some issues with a leak in the roof/chimney intersection at one point). That way, if there was any damage related to the maintenance issues, the company couldn't charge me for them because I had done my part to inform and work with them on those issues. And, finally, upon moveout I cleaned the heck out my apartments (get friends to help you with this) and then, before turning in the key, did the walk through with someone from the complex with all of my paperwork in hand in case there were any questions. There never were, but it felt good to be prepared.

Guest's picture
Rosa

1. ask your landlord if you could have some money deducted for work done to the rental: painting, changing of fixtures, lawn maintenance, snow removal, etc. If landlord has more than one unit and you are handy, offer to assist in the care of the rest of the units for a rental deduction.

2. Take pictures of rental while walking through the rental with landlord to document conditions before move in. Take pictures when moving out to document conditions when returning. Don't want to have landlord stiff you on money because they claimed somethings were not cleaned or fixed.

3. If you paint with color, then change it back to neutral.

Search for property management companies online and check out their website. Craigslist has good ads, but you want to check out that it isn't a scam because we were victims of one.

Good luck with the contest.

Guest's picture

I've gotten huge discounts by being willing to move in during the month (instead of on the first), offering to pay utilities (and then decreasing them by being more green, or canceling cable service), or being willing to take on more tasks (lawn maintenance, basic painting, etc).

I also found that in DC, living in an old house instead of a condo will save a TON of money, plus give you space to work out in the basement, storage space, and even a yard to grow food in. Your rent may be $200/month cheaper, but you can save another $200/month just by simple lifestyle changes.

Guest's picture
falnfenix

for getting one's deposit back:

1 - at move-in, photograph EVERYTHING. write it all down. ask for a walk-through with the leasing office/landlord, and ensure he or she agrees with everything you've documented.
2 - ideally, having a great relationship with one's landlord/leasing office is a plus. it certainly worked in my favor.
3 - schedule move out/end of lease dates a week apart. clean, clean, clean!
4 - photograph everything once it's cleaned up.
5 - if something happens, notify the leasing office immediately.
6 - DO NOT BRING PETS IN IF YOU CANNOT HAVE THEM. i can't stress this enough. if they don't allow pets, it's for a good reason. discuss this with the leasing office/landlord. don't lie, they'll find out eventually...and most likely, your deposit will disappear to cover "damages"

sometimes, you just won't get that deposit back. there's no guarantee you will, but the above list truly can come in handy. also, be fully aware of your lease - read it from beginning to end. this can also help at move-out.

Guest's picture
frugalinfl

I recently found my apartment listed on Craigslist. They were advertising the rent at a discounted rate. I signed a one year lease, which makes it less too. I also got the one bedroom instead of two. I don't really need that much space, I just sold some of my stuff on Craigslist. Also, the complex is like 25 years old compared to these newer, fancier ones. It is very well maintained and suits my needs.

Always do a walk thru before you move in noting any damage, etc. and the same when you move out. Clean the place throughly and you shouldn't have any problem getting your deposit back.

Guest's picture
Heather

I rent an in-law apartment from a nice couple. They cut $200 off of my monthly rent for doing seasonal things: maintaining a garden and weeding the landscaping (which I would want to do anyway), raking leaves and mulching, and shoveling snow in the winter. They're truly excellent people, and by helping each other we both win. This is kind of an unusual situation, but presenting a mutual benefit to your landlord is something to strive for...

Guest's picture

My husband and I have found some pretty good deals by presenting ourselves well: we have excellent credit and are clean cut professionals who live beneath our means. Our jobs are also quite stable. The people who have rented to us in the past have been willing to post a lower rent in order to attract more candidates and choose someone 'hassle free.'

Also, we're choosy about our landlords and make sure we don't pick anyone weird, seedy etc. We've always been able to have a good rapport that way and have never had trouble loosing our deposit money.

Oh, and see if you can line up automatic payments with your bank so you never miss the rent. Landlords love that. When you can keep them happy, it's a good thing.

Guest's picture
Kim

- Don't go through a realtor or building owned by an apartment company - they raise rents more & are stricter. I've always rented by an individual homeowner - they are easier to make deals with, esp. about painting or gardening. They also have fixed costs (i.e. fixed mortgage) so they won't hike rent up $100/year.
- Do use Craigslist or word-of-mouth - cheaper.
- In DC, don't live on top of the metro - waaaayyyyy more expensive than half mile away.
- Do live inside the Beltway - cuts your commute in half.
- If you have good credit, use that as a negotiating point.

Guest's picture
Lily

The trick to getting your deposit back is to walk through the apartment with the landlord before you move in. If you notice any defects/damages, point it out and take photos of it DATED and have the landlord sign them. Once you move out, do another walk through with the landlord. I know it's a bit tedious but in the end, you'll get your deposit back! :)

Guest's picture
Shannon

Don't go to risky neighborhoods because you think the rent will be cheaper. We called all the apartment complexes in the nicest neighborhood we wanted to live in and found a larger and more inexpensive apartment there than a friend was renting in a shady part of town.

Guest's picture
bhleigh

I recently went looking for a new apartment in Alameda, CA. I had trolled through the local management companies and complexes advertising on Craigslist, which resulted in nothing decent. I called my Father adn asked for some advice. He told me to drive around the block and look for places with signs up. I spent three hours driving aroudn the niehgborhoods and found a great spot. It was not advertised in the paper or online and was half the price of other places with more space. So take a drive through the neighborhood and just might find your new place around the block.

Guest's picture
Guest

I lived in a complex where the landlord used my apartment as one of the models, to show to prospective tenants. In exchange, I received $100 off the regular rental price, and I just had to keep my apartment tidy at all times. The manager accompanied the prospective tenants at all times and always called ahead first, and no one was allowed to wander around my apartment on their own, so I don't feel my privacy or belongings were ever at risk. It worked out quite well, since it saved me money and kept me on top of my housekeeping!

Guest's picture
Bucky

It is hard to do, but remember to take the time before you move in to document the condition of your new apartment. Get out that camera or camera phone and take pictures. Write down all of the problems and send it to your landlord.

When it comes time to move out, pull out your documentation and remind the landlord of the move-in condition.

She won't be able to deduct anything from your deposit for damages that weren't yours.

Guest's picture
angela

In college some of the best deals were in peoples basement apartments. You could save at least a $100 a month over the cheapest complex or more and you'd often have more space and private parking.

Guest's picture
Eric

I spent days doing apartment research online to before I started looking in person. I spent an afternoon scouring renter websites and found two great deals in the general area I wanted to live. I think depth of research and taking the lowest common denominator between size, quality, and location are the keys to being happy and paying as little as possible for rent.

Guest's picture
pam munro

In the old days we would look for old buildings w/apts. that needed TLC - rent them cheaply & then fix them up. There R neighborhoods that are respectable but not expensive - rather working class.

I also used to help my old landlord for some $ off the rent.

We also rented an apt. for a year in a Sr. Citizens complex because one of use was 55+ & the was the best deal in rentals in the area around Santa Barbara! (Found that deal on the internet & there even was a cash discount on the rental!)

You can apply to be an apartment manager in exchange for free/reduced rent.

Guest's picture
pam munro

In the old days we would look for old buildings w/apts. that needed TLC - rent them cheaply & then fix them up. There R neighborhoods that are respectable but not expensive - rather working class.

I also used to help my old landlord for some $ off the rent.

We also rented an apt. for a year in a Sr. Citizens complex because one of use was 55+ & the was the best deal in rentals in the area around Santa Barbara! (Found that deal on the internet & there even was a cash discount on the rental!)

You can apply to be an apartment manager in exchange for free/reduced rent.

Guest's picture
Emily

Renting with roommates is always cheaper! If you live in an older building (versus a brand new complex) rent will be lower, but don't compromise too much. You don't want to be stuck with broken appliances, faulting wiring, bad pipes, etc. Location is also key. If your job offers a travel subsidy, you can save money by living a little further away from the center of the city.

Guest's picture
Joe

Don't be afraid to negotiate or play hardball. Play rental companies against each other instead of just giving into their demands.

Guest's picture
saudade

I agree with Kellye about social networking. My husband and I have moved into units at below market rate rent by knowing the person who was moving out. When a landlord knows they don't have to really spiff up the place for a brand new tenant or spend money on advertising and the possibility the unit will sit empty for months, or have to take a chance on someone who isn't vetted by a good tenant, many are willing to take a bit of a hit and keep the price lower than what the market has increased to since their last tenant moved in.

Guest's picture
Meghan

I haven't rented at all yet but just signed a lease at an apartment. I would't call it "cheap" but it's definitely a better deal than others!

We did have to work for it though--we were on a waiting list for 4 months!

I know not everyone can do that but if it's an option and it's the apartment or rental you want--go for it!

Guest's picture
Leo Fair

See if there's anyway to find an enjoyable job to pay for your lodging. As a travel nurse, my mom's rent is taken care of by her company and there are some travel-related jobs (jobs on cruise ships jump to mind) where you're moving around enough that you can couch surf* or rent an extended stay hotel room when you're not at your job.

(*This is of course advice from someone who is single with no kids. ;) )

Guest's picture
Kathryn C

I ask everyone I know if they know a great place at a good price. Then I give good references and ask for a lower rent. And also out of town is cheaper also.

Guest's picture
Ali

In the DC area, a lot of people don't realize that Takoma Park is pretty much rent controlled. Also, there are places that are just outside the more desirable areas, but still are safe and charming, and not necessarily as scary as you might think at first blush.

The best place at the best rent that I found was simply by asking around. I ended up finding a great houseshare for a relatively tiny amount of rent. It also helped that I had a (very old and cheap but well-maintained) car, so I didn't need to be right near a metro.

Guest's picture

I didn't do this on purpose, but we became friends with the landlord and we didn't have a problem getting our deposit back.

Guest's picture

When I first got out of school I looked for housing listings on college websites and student unions. In the DC area I checked out American University and GW and found a group house with four other recent graduates.

Guest's picture
rainalea

In the past I have saved money on rent by renting a place that needs a little work done. The landlord was willing to discount my rent in exchange for a little labor on the rental. The landlord supplied the repair materials and I did the work.

It is certainly something to consider if you are handy around the house and can find a landlord willing to work with you. In my case, it even lead to doing a few repairs on the landlords other rentals in exchange for a lower rent payment.

It is important to make arrangement in advance and in writing when venturing into such an agreement.

Guest's picture
Frances

We looked and looked and looked at apartments. It was a nightmare of expensive, cramped, and shambled spaces. We were both tired and argued about settling for this dump or that one and how we could "fix" it up. Finally we found a nice apartment that costs a little more than what we wanted to pay, but felt more like a home than anything we had seen. We pointed out to our landlord as he was showing us around that we really liked it, but it was more than we were looking to pay. We mentioned some things that were less than perfect about the place (there's got to be something) and that we couldn't afford a pet fee (and we hadn't paid one in the past). We ended up getting a reduced rate and no fees. I think the landlord also just liked us and believed (accurately) we were a quiet couple who wouldn't party or punch holes in the walls. Sometimes I work in people's homes and come to find out they are renting for hundreds more than us for less space and less service. Is it because they didn't keep looking, or they didn't negotiate, or that some are social, or that some of them have kids? I don't know. Maybe we just got lucky.
Another thing that may help keep our rate low, is that we renew our lease early, pay months in advance and never late, and only call for maintenance when we can't fix the problem our selves (the fridge broke or the roof leaks).
We also got our deposits back from our old apartments when we moved by doing our own repairs and cleaning. We even patched our roommates' walls and cleaned up after them and repaired some things that had been off when we moved in.

Guest's picture
aoi neko

I've lived in apartments most of my life. Biggest thing, research. Not just in person but also look-up crime stats for cities, transportation, how much other places are going for, what is around where you want to live? There is so much information on the internet, defintely look for police logs and city statistics if you are moving to a new area.

I found a place in a better city with less crime and it's cheaper than apartments where I use to live. I also downsized. This takes a bit of willingness and fortitudenous. I went to a studio but then I keep telling myself the money I am saving each month...

One thing with going smaller is it's easier to clean and things are usually easier to find. Definitely takes time to find a good place. Best thing is to get out and look. Be prepared to spend some time comparison shopping. Right now is a great market for renters.

Best things are to know what you definitely want and to be flexible on other things.

Guest's picture
Eris

Sharing a house seems to be cheaper in my area than renting. Try to look as early as possible. Craiglist's list has some good deals, but you can find even better ones through community message boards, or student housing networks.

Guest's picture
Vargas

Six years ago I rented a luxury apartment that had an asking rent of $1100 for $850. The four reasons I got such a deal are:

1. I rented from an owner.
The apartment was actually a condo, an investment property owned by a CPA. Every month that the condo went vacant was another month that he had to carry the mortgage and association fees with no money coming in. I was extra lucky because he had multiple units sitting vacant and his real estate agent let it slip. Big mistake.

This was during the Chicago Real Estate boom. It's a lot easier to get a deal now, especially in the more high end market.

2. I didn't hire an apartment service.
In some places (Chicago) the service is free to the renter, others (NYC) both parties pay. Apartments aren't rocket science, you don't need a consultant. Know what you want to pay, where you want to live, and go out there and find a place. Treat it like a part time job; no one cares more about where you will be living more than you do.

3. I moved in the dead of Winter.
Most people start and end their leases in the summer months. It is harder to find tenants in November, December and January than in June or July. Even if the owner has to dramatically drop the price to get you to move in, it more than offsets the potential loss of just one month of vacancy. Renting off-season gives you added bargaining power.

4. I haggled.
I went back and forth with the owner through his real estate agent, when I wasn't getting the right price, I very politely told her it was everybody's best interest to let me have the apartment at $800 and that I was even willing to prepay a couple of months if they like. The counter-offered $850 and I took it.

Getting a good deal on an apartment requires that you do your homework and have the guts to ask for what you want. The worst thing that can happen is they say no.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

I echo a lot of the statements already made. You should treat the first impression with your landlord like a job interview. The better the impression, the more likely you will get better terms.

The last time I rented a place, I showed up in a suit (since I had a presentation that day in my graduate class). Surprisingly, the apartment management company "forgot" to ask me about co-signing the lease (with my parents) and ended up asking less for my deposit. Granted, I have a great credit score. But the suit and tie really seemed to make an impact.

Guest's picture

Honestly, I have not rented in awhile. However, when I did rent, I know that rent seemed to follow the general rule of real estate: location, location, location. If you are willing to live in a less desirable area or place, you are going to pay cheaper rent.

Basement apartments, spare bedrooms, or apartments in fringe areas are all places where rent will be cheaper. Typically right out of college those places might suffice. However, later in life, not so much.

Guest's picture

For those trying to save money on renting where they currently live, try offering a service (or talent) of yours that may be useful to the landlord.

I am bi-lingual, and I used to translate for my landlord for a discount on my monthly rent.

Guest's picture
BRB

Sometimes when a house seems cheaper than it should be there is a reason. We kept thinking the last house we lived in was quite a steal until the sewer started backing up and the basement started leaking. Look at the types of windows and doors on the place too, landlords don't care what you have to pay for utilities and a lot of older houses don't have tight windows and doors. Make sure you look for any signs of water damage as well because more than likely it is an on-going problem!

Guest's picture
peggy

Best source is always to go "local"- local/community newspaper or newsletters, Craigslist specific for that city, even university or community posting boards/forums. The locals who rent out extra space in their homes tend to offer the best prices and leniency as compared to the apartment complexes.

Apartment complexes may only advertise prices based on # of bedrooms, but prices may fluctuate even further based on other factor (upper/lower floor, parking lot or pool view). One apartment I saw had a W/D but I did not want one and asked it to be removed; to my surprise, they agreed and deducted the price from the rent.

Guest's picture
Olivia

I almost always rented from people who owned small places. The first place was a summer sublet, obtained by word of mouth. Moving at the end of a school year helped during college days as alot of places became vacant then. Offering to paint and fix up goes a long way. Our second place (me and roomies) allowed the lease signer to "sublet". At one point there were five of us. That cut costs considerably. We found out about it from a friend of a friend. Since we had a terrific landlord and lady and were willing to work on the place ourselves our rent never increased during the years we were there. The third place was on my own. It was the first building my landlady ever owned. She did the construction work herself. We chatted for a while before she offered the lease. I must have passed muster. She even let me bring my cat at no charge.

Guest's picture
Mariel Martinez

I am the landlord, so, I negotiate to pay very little for a lot, but, all girls have to share the property, so, it is a bit crowed, but it works, since the rules are very much understood

Guest's picture
Milcah

Because I think i'm about to learn something new in reading the other responses. I had no idea until we moved into our current place that rent is negotiable. We were looking for a place in a certain range and had an agent assisting us in locating it. We were able to talk the landlord down by $150/month and also found out he was flexible on the lease terms. They were looking for someone to rent out the place for at least a year, but we were able to get them to 6 months and then month to month thereafter. I guess you don't know unless you ask!

Guest's picture
RJ Weiss

The best way to save is to live with other people. You get to share utility bills, cable, garbage...etc. Plus rent is usually a lot cheaper when you're splitting.

Also, don't be afraid to share a room with someone. If you're one that isn't home frequently, it can be worth the savings.

Guest's picture
Beth

Act as you would when buying a home--don't look too excited or anxious to have the place. Then ask for a discount--the worst they can say is "no." My husband and I got our rent reduced by $100/mo. just by asking when we moved into our current place (last Saturday!).

Guest's picture
Fireweed

I just rented a place and by paying a year in advance, I got two months more for free. This is the first time I have been able to afford to do this, but it ended up earning me $2000 ($1000 a month). I would not do this in a community where I did not know the safe and unsafe parts, but in this town that was not an issue.

I also took a video of the entire place, zooming in on problems like scratched window sills, before moving in a piece of furniture. I did it with the landlord there, so she could see what the problems were, and on the video you can hear her agreeing that something was damaged---so later it will be easy to prove that problems existed before I moved in. This sounds pretty harsh, but I did this the last time I moved into an apartment and it meant I got back my entire deposit (for the first time in my life!)

Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Guest's picture
Kelli

I now own a home but I have rented in the past, and I've always gotten my full damage deposit back. The key is to make sure you do a walk-through with the landlord/apartment manager BEFORE moving in to document any little things that might be wrong (scratch in the paint, spot on the carpet, etc.). Keeping your place clean and, when you move out, REALLY cleaning it and making sure it's immaculate is also important. And be sure to keep records of anything that transpires while you're living there (if a repairman accidentally scratches something, if you've seen any insect problems, etc.).

Guest's picture
Tiffany

I'm only living in my second apartment, but I'm moving this May, so these tips are very helpful for me. (Thanks!)

But my knowledge from moving out of our first apartment will serve me well this time around. We moved into an older complex that wasn't in the best shape, but it was cheap and that's all that mattered. We didn't take pictures when we moved in (being first time renters, we were clueless) -- big mistake. Even though we did a walk through and wrote down things that were damaged when we moved in, they didn't take that into consideration when we moved out and we only got back $100 of our $500 deposit. We lived on the second floor and they told us that we didn't clean the outsides of the windows. There was no way for us to clean them, so how were we supposed to do this? They said they had to pay for them to be cleaned. We went back and checked out the windows -- which had not been cleaned. Liars. Absolutely ridiculous.

When moving out we also had to pay a full month's rent for moving out on the 5th. We were not reimbursed at all. So we had to pay $525 & $850 (rent for both places) when we moved. Plus the $500 deposit for the new place. They claimed that the reason that they had to charge the full month's is because we were setting them back. But we found out that a week after we moved out, there were new tenants moved in. They made double the rent. Sneaky.

So my advice is -- take pictures, take notes, & if possible, get background information on the rental company/landlord. Make sure they're not known for stiffing people.

Guest's picture
Karen Isaacson

I found as a renter that the cheapest housing wasn't next door to the university or in the best parts of town. Look around the neighborhoods where you want to live and look a little beyond your neighborhood of choice; living on or near the edge of your desired environs might save you big bucks. Also, rent under your means; if you don't need the bells and whistles, don't pay for them. An apartment complex without a pool and exercise room and WIFI can still be perfect living space and is likely much cheaper.

I've been a landlord, too, and we always let tenants take the cost of materials off their rent. We also liked to have walkthroughs; it prevents a lot of problems later.

If you paint, however...don't paint the walls a dark color...please. I've had to paint three coats of primer over Barbie Doll pink enamel on the walls, and let me tell you, that was NOT fun.

If you don't have a credit history, or a rental history, be forewarned that landlords will not be happy and may turn you down. As a landlord, the report from the agency that says you are a good prospect is all we have to go on. We once rented to someone who had a good job, but no recent history as he was newly out of prison. We took a chance on him...big mistake. We ended up evicting him for non-payment [and he had tons of cash on him] because he was a drug addict and he and his girlfriend used one of the rooms as their shooting gallery and we had to clean blood off the walls and ceiling from where they'd discharged their needles.

If you have pets and want your deposit back, clean up after them. My husband had to replace linoleum and underlayment after a tenant's cat peed all over the floor for a year and a half. Needless to say, with the amount of cleaning and work involved to fix the place to make it rentable again, they didn't get their deposit back. They were pissed, but they were accountable for the actions of the cat and didn't take the time and effort to prevent or remediate the mess.

Guest's picture
Winnerz

I buy in bulk from Amazon.com

Guest's picture
Darlene

Don't rent from a big apartment complex. You'll be paying for the advertising, tennis courts, pools and workout facilities that you probably won't use. Scour the newspapers and craigslist to see if you can find an apartment with a single (not corporate) landlord. People are shocked when we tell them how much we pay for a 2 bedroom apartment. It is way below the average for this area, because we rent from a married couple who keep this apartment building as a second income. They are super nice people and we got a great deal from them. They don't even charge us a pet deposit for our kitty! Our rent also doesn't increase from year to year.