CategoriesRental Property

What You Need to Know Before Renting an Apartment for the First Time

renting an apartment

Renting an apartment for the first time is a bit overwhelming. You want to make sure that you find the right place at the right price, with all the amenities you like. Not to mention, there’s a lot that goes into dealing with landlords, leases, and deposits.

This blog post will provide you with “need-to-know” information about how to find an apartment with as little headache as possible. Check out the helpful considerations below!

Your Budget

Before signing any lease, you should do a thorough assessment of your financial situation and decide how much rent you can afford to pay each month. You should also consider how much you can afford to put toward a security deposit. Make sure your budget is realistic and allows for unexpected expenses.

In lots of cases, the apartments will require that you earn at least three times your monthly rent. If you don’t make enough to meet income requirements, look into other options like getting a cosigner or finding a roommate.

Amenities and Utilities

When viewing Memphis apartments, be sure to consider all amenities and utilities included in the rent. Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished? Are there laundry facilities nearby?

Is water usage included in the rent or separate? Is there a pet fee?

Knowing this information gives you an idea of how much you’ll truly pay each month. In addition to the monthly expenses, don’t forget the money you’ll need to buy a new TV, cookware, bed, etc.


Location should be a key factor when you rent an apartment for the first time. Before signing a lease, do research on the neighborhood and find out what it has to offer.

Is there easy access to public transportation? Are there any parks or entertainment nearby? Are the streets well lit and safe at night?

If you plan on driving to work or school, assess the commute time and traffic patterns of the area. Generally, it’s best to get an apartment rental that’s within 10–20 minutes of your job or school.

Lease Agreement

Once you’ve chosen the right apartment, it’s imperative to thoroughly read and understand the lease agreement before signing. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and can protect yourself from unexpected surprises. Knowledge of the lease agreement helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Parking Spaces

If you have a vehicle, research the apartment’s parking situation, and check if it comes with a designated parking space. If not, you need to make sure there is ample parking available.

Some apartments offer garages, but they usually charge an additional fee for them. However, paying for a garage might be worth the investment if you want to avoid the hassle of fighting over limited parking spaces.

Your Timeline

It takes time to shop around and find an apartment that you like. Before starting your search, determine the timeline of when you want to move in, and start making arrangements. It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to find an apartment, so plan ahead.

Also, keep in mind that the apartment that you want may not be available when you want it. Therefore, it’s best to have a few backup plans in mind.

Your Credit

Even if you meet the income requirements, the landlord may still want to review your credit and rental history before signing a lease. This is done to confirm that you are a responsible tenant and can pay your rent on time.

If you have a low credit score or limited rental history, try to provide evidence that proves that you are financially stable. This could include bank statements that show additional income or pay stubs.

But some apartments want to see income and good credit. So, clean up your credit before you start searching.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is an essential aspect of renting an apartment. Most leases require you to purchase renter’s insurance in case of theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. The majority of landlords will ask you to get insurance, but if they don’t, it’s still a good idea to buy it.

Renter’s insurance isn’t very expensive, and it offers significant protection for your personal belongings. Before signing a lease, make sure you that understand the terms of your insurance policy and the coverage it provides.

Your Requirements

While it might be tempting to choose an apartment because they’re offering you a good deal, don’t neglect your requirements. This includes everything from the size of the apartment to the appliances that come with it. If you prefer a washer and dryer or modern upgrades, see if the apartment offers them.

Make sure the apartment rental has all the features and amenities that you need. After all, you’ll have to live in it for a while, so it should meet your expectations.

Lease Lengths

If you’re someone who doesn’t need a 12-month lease, look for apartments that offer shorter terms. You may find places that let you rent month to month or have a 6-month lease. Just understand that short-term and monthly rentals are usually more expensive. 

Renting an Apartment Made Easy

Renting an apartment may seem like a lot of hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. If you implement the steps provided above, your first time as an apartment renter should be easy-peasy.

To find apartments in Memphis, lean on Reedy & Company for help. We have numerous rental properties available throughout Memphis and its surrounding areas.

If you have any questions for us, call 901-842-0805, or get in touch with us online. We’ll be in touch soon!