Apartments For Rent | Everything You Need To Know About Renting An Apartment

Renting an apartment can be a daunting process for someone who has never experienced it. One of the first steps you should take if you are thinking about renting an apartment is to familiarize yourself with the overall process and decide if it is right for you. At GottaRent, we are here to support you through each and every step of the apartment renting process.

We want you to understand apartment renting from the basics to the rental agreement itself. You should know which questions to ask and be able to understand the answers so you can decide if the apartment is the right fit for you. Our goal is to provide you with the information and confidence you need so that you can determine a good landlord and desirable living situation at the drop of a dime.

At GottaRent, we are ready to introduce you to the next stage of your life. We want to help you find an apartment that is both ideal for you and feels like home. Our dedicated agents are ready to answer each question that is puzzling you. Whether you are a first-time renter or a repeat renter, we are thrilled to introduce you to the joys of renting with us.

Renting An Apartment: What Does It Mean?

Renting an apartment means paying a monthly sum of money on a certain date as stated on a signed lease in exchange for accommodation. It sounds pretty simple, right? In exchange for money, you get your own space to relax and be independent. It's why more than 27 million people moved in 2021 alone. Everyone wants their own space to grow and become better.

An apartment applies to any building that is rented, not owned. This can include a house, a residential building, a condo, etc. As long as there is a rental agreement, you are living in an apartment. This opens up your living options far more than you’ll have realized. Renting will not hold you back but give you flexibility and freedom.

Renting is now often more affordable compared to owning with 36.6% of people renting their homes. This is a 5.4% increase over the past 10 years. Renting is continually increasing in popularity because people are becoming more aware that it is a flexible option. The steps to finding your apartment are simple and it starts with us here at GottaRent.

You decide on your essential and desirable criteria for your future home. Then, you look at places online and you attend viewings with GottaRent until you find the right property. When you find the one, you fill in a rental application form. It takes your details, previous tenancies, employment history and other information to decide if you are the right fit for the property.

What Are The Benefits of Renting An Apartment?

There are many benefits to renting an apartment. It allows you the ability to budget your money, find the right city for you, and save for your future. Renting doesn’t tie you down, it frees you. Learn more details about the benefits of renting an apartment below.


Renting an apartment may seem expensive considering that you are not the owner of the home. However, when it comes to adding up the additional bills that homeowners experience, it is often cheaper than owning. As a renter, your utility bills and insurance costs will be lower. As well, you won’t need to pay property tax or pay for any kind of household repairs. Altogether, your total expenses are often reduced significantly when renting.


Renters have more flexibility in their lives as they can adjust their plans when they please without much hassle or inconvenience. You can live anywhere that you choose and often have the ability to move somewhere new at the drop of a hat. You are not as tied down which means that you possess less responsibility and live a more relaxed life as a renter. It’s important to keep in mind that most rentals will require a lease agreement but most of these agreements can be signed either on short-term or longer-term arrangements.

Better For Your Savings

Not everyone has the finances to purchase a home. It requires a large initial deposit followed by a monthly mortgage payment as well as additional home maintenance bills. Renting, however, doesn't require large sums upfront. Renting allows you to budget and save money effectively to live in a stronger financial situation.

What Do I Need To Know Before Renting An Apartment?

Renting an apartment can be intimidating, especially as a first-time renter. It always feels like there is a lot to learn and know before making a decision confidently. We have compiled a list of the five most important things that we believe you should be aware of before you sign your rental lease. The specifics of them vary across locations so it’s important to do your homework and understand your local regulations and how they apply to you.

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is an additional fee that you can pay to cover potential future damage. It is an added layer of protection against theft, damage, extreme weather and other situations. This insurance is a nice safety blanket to have in case of an emergency. It protects you, your belongings, and your finances for a small monthly fee.

Tenants Rights

Renters are protected by certain parts of the law to ensure that they are treated fairly. One of the most important rights is fair housing which prevents landlords from discriminating and denying housing.

There are many rights that a tenant has while renting an apartment in order to protect their privacy, enjoyment and overall health. For example, landlords are required to give an explicit amount of notice before entering your apartment for any issues or check-ups. Other important rights of the tenant include living in housing that is free from infestations or other safety concerns and more. Ensure to look into the tenant rights and landlord rights for your specific geographical area.

Credit Checks

Landlords will run your credit score to evaluate whether or not you are a risk as a renter. It is based on your debts, purchase history, credit history, types of credit, and how recently you applied for credit. A low credit score will indicate to landlords that you are potentially unreliable with money and could harm your ability to secure a rental.

Apartment Inspections

Before you move in, you should ask the landlord to conduct an apartment inspection. As they do, you should create a list of existing damages and discuss if they will be fixed before or after you move in. This inspection will allow you to move into the apartment with open eyes and prevent any issues regarding damages when you vacate the rental.

As well, you will consent to an apartment inspection in your lease agreement. Commonly, it is just your landlord checking the condition of your home. They will check for damage, pets, pests, and the cleanliness of your home. Typically, a landlord will complete an inspection every 3-6 months. Be prepared because a negative inspection could impact your lease renewal.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is a common request from any landlord as it protects their property from unpaid damage. At the end of the tenancy, any damages to the apartment will be paid for by your deposit. However, you can request details about what the money is used for and argue it if you choose to. Many people are lucky and get their full deposit back if they are extra caring for their home.

Questions To Ask When Renting An Apartment

It is very exciting to find an apartment that has just about everything you have hoped for. An apartment where you can truly picture yourself living. However, you need to ask the right questions and assess the information in order to decide if it is actually the right fit for you. These questions will help you to properly evaluate your potential property.

  • How much is the rent? - This may have been discussed earlier but it will impact whether or not you can afford to move into the apartment.
  • Are utilities included in the rent? - Utilities are often included in the rent, but not always. It is dependent on the individual landlord. It's best to ask before making agreements because you don’t want to have unexpected fees.
  • Is there an application fee? - This varies depending on location. It is typically around the range of $50 but this can add up quickly if you apply to several properties.
  • How long is the lease? - It may be a month-to-month lease or a fixed-term lease. It’s important to understand how long your lease is and any fees that may relate to breaking it.
  • Is a security deposit required? - Security deposits are common as they ensure that any damages to the apartment are covered. However, it will depend on local regulations and the individual landlord.
  • Is there parking? - If you have a car it’s important that you have a safe space to park it. Ensure that parking is included in your rental fees or find out how much extra it may be before you sign.
  • Are pets allowed? If so, is there an additional fee? - If you have or are thinking of getting a pet, this is important to ask as not all landlords allow pets. Additionally, while some landlords allow pets, there may be an additional fee for housing a pet.
  • Is there a guest policy? - Some landlords may be stricter than others and insist on a policy that limits your ability to entertain guests. Ensure if there are rules in place that they won’t impact the way you plan to live.
  • Are any amenities included? - This could include laundry facilities, a gym, a pool, underground parking, etc.
  • Can you make changes to the apartment? - Some landlords will not allow their tenants to make any fundamental changes to the apartment such as painting, renovations, etc. It’s important to understand what changes your landlord approves of before moving in.
  • Who is responsible for maintenance? - Landlords should have a specific system in place for both the maintenance in your apartment and the property it sits on. Ensure that you understand the process in advance of signing your lease.
  • Is it furnished? - While not many living arrangements come furnished anymore, it is still an important consideration. Furnishing an entire apartment is an added expense that you would need to factor in when moving.
  • Are there any late fees? - Sometimes mistakes happen. It’s important to ensure you are aware of any late payments fees or other charges that may result from a late rent payment.
  • Is the lease renewable? - This informs the landlord that you are a strong candidate as you are thinking of the apartment as long-term. Also, it helps you plan for your own future after the length of the lease.
  • What security measures are in place? - This could include a buzzer system, reception, or a doorman.
  • Is subletting an option? - You may have to travel for an extended period. Subletting would prevent the loss of your apartment while ensuring the expenses are paid for during your absence.

What You Should Know About An Apartment Rental Agreement

An apartment rental agreement is an official contract that entails the specific conditions of your occupancy. It will detail the rental costs, the type of lease, tenant rules, inventory, the consequences for breaking any part of the agreement and any other information that is important to note.

Rental Costs

Your lease should detail a breakdown of the cost of your rent, the monthly payment date, and information surrounding your security deposit. You need this information to ensure that you comply with the lease agreement properly. Also, it will include any additional costs that you may be expected to pay such as agency fees.

Type of Lease

The length of the lease will impact the landlord’s right to increase rent. If it is a month-to-month agreement then they can increase rent. If it is a fixed-term lease then they cannot until you renew the lease. Prospect of lease renewal may be included in the lease agreement but it depends on whether this is the landlord’s preference.

Tenant Rules

A large part of the lease will detail rules for the tenants to obey. They may include restrictions on behavior, rules on redecorating, paying for damages, and giving due notice when leaving. If you choose to leave early, this will be specified in the rules. Consider these carefully as failure to comply could result in consequences.


In your rental agreement, you should receive an itemized copy of everything inside the apartment. An inventory list will include furniture, appliances, and their current condition. You should check this over as when you leave, it will impact your security deposit.

Consequences of Breaking the Contract

Any breaking of the contract will result in either financial compensation or eviction. This could be continued late payment, damages, or ignorance of the tenant rules. The severity of the breakage will determine the exact consequence. It will also depend on the landlord and their leniency.

Where To Look For Apartments For Rent

You now know almost everything you need to about renting an apartment. If you feel ready to make that jump, you will now need to find the right company to begin your search with. It is important to pair with a reliable and experienced business in the industry. A company that will give you the support that you need to make a decision.

At GottaRent, we pride ourselves on giving you ‘the feeling of home’. We approach each apartment search with passion and joy and we work tirelessly to ensure we find the perfect future home for you. We have over 300,000 listings at any given time across both the United States and Canada. This is because landlords trust us to find the right tenants for their rentals, the same way our tenants trust us to find the right rental property for them.

Our experience primes us for this search. We are ready for the challenge to find you the perfect home. No expectations are too much for us because our goal is to make you happy and at GottaRent, we achieve our goals. Start your search for apartment rentals in your area today!

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