Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Money Saving Tips for Your Apartment or Rental Property

You might not be building the equity as you would in a house when renting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money. While at first glance there may not appear to be many money saving opportunities in an apartment or rental property, you could be pleasantly surprised. There are plenty of relatively simple ways to increase savings when you’re renting.

Determining whether your rent will include cable, water, trash, heat, or similar utilities, can add up to big savings. If one property offers free cable but you don’t watch much television, you may want to search for a rental that offers free trash and water or heat instead.

Make sure to ask about additional fees for extras such as a fireplace, balcony, lake view, washer/dryer, garage, etc. Often if you ask about these extras during the viewing of the apartment, you can negotiate them for a discounted price or maybe even for free.

Utilizing free apartment amenities such as a gym or pool can save you on costly gym membership frees. Taking advantage of apartment sponsored activities for residents such as free movie nights, Sunday brunches, book readings for the kids, and aerobics classes, can also save you cash.

By doing a walk through before moving in and moving out of your rental, you can avoid being charged for damages incurred by others. If you find problems on the initial inspection, ask for them to be fixed or at least ensure they are noted before you sign the lease.

Leaky or broken windows and window seals can increase heating and cooling costs. A window’s position in relation to the sun can affect ambient lighting and temperature levels, possibly helping you to save on utility costs.

When it comes to fixing things in your rental property, you should contact the property manager for even the smallest of repairs. This is a good idea for several reasons. First, because this is a service for which you pay rent. Second, repairs cost money, money you could be saving, and if you don’t make the repairs correctly, you could be held liable for future problems and repair costs.

Moving into an apartment can be exciting, and you might want to enhance your new living space with a fresh coat of paint. Paint, however costs money, and more than likely, if you do paint your rental space a different color, the landlord will require that you repaint before you leave, costing you even more.

Having renter’s insurance is a small price to pay for protecting not only you, your belongings, and the residence, but also residents around you from damage or injuries originating in, or issuing from, your apartment.

By treating a rental property as you would a property of your own, you can avoid costly repair charges incurred when you leave.

Before you turn in your keys when vacating a rental, ensure the rental agency, their accountant or the landlord has a forwarding address to which your security deposit can be sent.

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