Moving into your first apartment can be exciting and eye-opening. Being accountable to the apartment manager or owner comes with certain expectations. Living near neighbors may take some getting used to as well. Here are seven behaviors that might work out fine at home with parents, but you will likely need to give them up when you sign a rental lease.
When you find an apartment for rent that you’re interested in, you’ll likely be given a list of rules and guidelines all residents are expected to follow. This will include the areas you and your guests are allowed to park, the areas pets are allowed to be, and any other restrictions the property may have.
It is your responsibility to follow these rules, so before you move in, make sure they are rules you’re willing to follow. Keep your pets at home so they don’t bother the neighbors. Park where you are supposed to, and advise guests to do the same. Basically, take care of your responsibilities correctly and respectfully with your neighbors’ needs in mind.
Just as you don’t want to listen to your neighbors all day and all night, your neighbors don’t want to listen to you. Turn down the volume on your television, video games, and late-night parties with friends at your place. Your neighbors may rise earlier than you do or may have young children sleeping that they do not want awakened. If you’re worried that your neighbors can still hear you in your apartment, consider some basic soundproofing techniques. Be courteous and keep others needs in mind.
While it’s fine to borrow an occasional egg or cup of sugar, don’t become a needy nuisance to your neighbors. If you ask their help every time you get locked out or your car won’t start, or if you request a ride to work or to go shopping frequently, you may notice your neighbors aren’t quite as friendly as they were at first.
You can keep your apartment pretty much the way you want it, but outdoor areas shared with the other tenants, like parking and trash receptacles, should be kept neat. Don’t throw candy wrappers or cigarette butts on the ground and expect someone else to clean it up. Look after yourself, and hopefully your neighbors will keep up their share of the responsibilities. If you do notice the occasional piece of trash laying around, be a good neighbor and throw it away.
Avoid filling up your porch, patio, or parking area with broken furniture, bags of trash, or kids’ toys that look unsightly and get in others’ way. These can be a tripping hazard for others and it may even prevent the mail delivery person from depositing mail in your box or slot. Don’t clutter shared stairways or leave baskets of clothes in the laundry room. Keep shared spaces open and free of debris.
When other renters make too much noise or leave a mess, avoid getting into arguments with them. It’s unlikely to actually change their behavior and may even make it worse.
Instead, politely point out the problem and ask their cooperation. Talk together to find a workable compromise if necessary. If they ignore your or if problems persist, talk to the manager of the property. They will have the authority and ability to make real changes if you can’t.
Procrastinating following any written or verbal directions, especially from management, can cause problems in the long run. Pay your rent and utilities on time to maintain a secure credit score and to not upset the building manager or owner. Follow your lease agreement, or you may be looking for another apartment before long.
Becoming an apartment renter provides the opportunity to enjoy your own living area without some of the extra responsibilities a house would bring. But it also comes with awareness of and respect for others who are directly or indirectly involved. Take care of your apartment and fulfill your rental duties for a pleasant and productive renting experience.