GIVEAWAY! – IKEA’s Apartment Solutions & Win a $50 Gift Card!

IKEA Under $50 by rentwhich featuring word wall art Head lamp / Queen bedding / Colored box / Moka London word wall art / Home decor / Blacks outdoor / IKEA GRUNDTAL Container, stainless steel / IKEA BYGEL Utility cart, white, silver color / Casters furniture / Shelving unit / IKEA PORTIS Clothes rack, black   So many people living the #apartmentlife are in the process of moving this weekend that we at Rentwhich decided to lend you a helping hand.  Between physically moving, making use of small spaces, and decorating, the first few weeks in a new place can be tough.  To help, we’ve featured a few IKEA items under $50 that will organize, illuminate, and beautify your new digs to inspire you and we’re offering our first GIVEAWAY to help you along.  Talk about Rentwhich during your move and in the first days of your new place for a chance to win a $50 IKEA giftcard! a Rafflecopter giveaway *Gift card provided by Rentwhich.  No promotional consideration was provided for this giveaway. ...

New Apartment? Protect Your Rights!

Renters tend to come and go and unscrupulous landlords can take advantage of the churn.  If you take proactive steps to protect yourself, you will have the law on your side. A lease agreement is the legal document that spells out the length and terms of your tenancy.  Take a careful look at your lease, including whether the address of the unit is correct and the security deposit terms.  Don’t be afraid to hand write in any terms you want included such as when you can sublease the unit or terms you discussed with the landlord that didn’t make it onto the lease agreement form. When you move in, take photographs of your empty apartment.  If there are any water stains along the ceiling, discolored sections of carpet or missing tiles in the bathroom, a nice date stamped photo will come in handy if your landlord tries to keep your security deposit. Include in your lease agreement a list of anything that is not in working order when you move in. When you contact the landlord for any reason (or the landlord contacts you), keep track of it.  While it seems cold, you can carry on an entire landlord-tenant relationship over email.  If you do use the phone, keep a log with dates, times, purpose, and content of conversations.  This may come in handy if you face legal problems down the road, during an eviction, or if you need to sue the landlord for wrongly withholding your security deposit. Basically, when in doubt – Document! Document! Document! Renters, have you had to deal with an unscrupulous landlord?  What did you do in response?  Were you prepared to respond?  Tell us in the comments! This post includes information about legal issues and legal developments.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.  ...

Do You Suck at Craigslist?

Craigslist is an almost inevitable part of the renting process.  From finding your apartment to furnishing it, trusty CL is always there.  Unfortunately, a lot of people who try to Craigslist are doing it wrong.  Although their boneheadery can be frustrating, they are doing the rental world the favor of hilarity. Our friends at You Suck at Craigslist have allowed us to feature some of their favorite apartment and roommate posts so you can cram in a few giggles before your September 1st move.  If you haven’t already, visit and follow the site.  The comments are the best part!  Confused about the definition of a HOUSE $1800 / 4br – Beutiful 4 bdrm two story This is a HOUSE, not an appartment! available NOW!! great rental opportunity.4 bedrooms, three bath, large living room and kitchen with balcony/ deck. bonus room/extra living room down stairs. two car garage, with additional parking off steet. great family home. dish washer, stacked washer dryer upstairs, front loaders down stairs. off of quiet cul-de-sac in a nice martha lake neighborhood. call Teddy @ ###-###-#### for apointment and details. $45 non-refundable credit check fee.  Offer you can’t refuse – You pay me money but you can’t live at my house! Travel a lot but still need a bedroom to call home? If you travel a lot but still need a bedroom to stay in while you are in town? If you answered YES, this is the perfect fit!! I own and reside in a TWO -BEDROOM/ONE- BATHROOM Condo in [location]. The complex is called [NAME OF COMPLEX] and is located off the cross streets of [location]. There is easy access to TWO METRO STOPS ([two metro stop names]) via bus stop on property. Less than a mile from [location] and walking distance to Shopping Center. I am looking for a roommate that won’t be around much but still needs a place to call “home” every so often. The room is fully furnished with a full bed, night stand ,dresser, and TV. There is a 2 door closet inside the room also. I have a cat so you cannot be allergic to cats. I like my own space and am used to living alone but the mortgage has gotten to be too much. I’m looking for someone who travels a lot or maybe “lives at their boyfriends” house but mom and dad still think you have your “own” place… I think you get the picture. Utilities include Cable, Wireless Internet, Gas, Electric, Water/Sewer and Trash and would be an additional $50.00 per month. The rent that I am asking is $600 per month although willing to negotiate a tiny bit if you are the right fit. Please email me through craigslist with your contact information and why you are a good fit for my 1 bedroom rental. Not sure if this guy sucks at Craigslist or just won Craigslist – I certainly want to live in his loft! $940 / 1br – williamsburg loft its a 4 bedroom loft style apt. 1 bathroom huge kitchen/living room. 1 stop into manhattan on the L train. tons of bars/restaurants/shopping in the area. amazing roof/view if its just for the month thats fine, but theres a chance you can sign the lease in june if everyone gets along $940/month plus utilies please let me know soon!   Craigslist users!  What is the craziest thing you’ve seen while apartment, roommate, or furnishing hunting?  How much do you love You Suck at Craigslist? Where else do you find rental hilarity? ...

Moving Day is Almost Here!

Around these parts, an excitement fills the air when August starts.  In a city with so many college students, over 80% of the area’s apartment leases turn over on or around September 1st.  So most renters, whether they are students or not, spend August preparing for their annual game of musical homes.  Although moving can be stressful, you can combat the anxiety by being as prepared as possible.  To help you map out your plan of attack for the move in rush, we’ve found a list of resources from the web for movers. Lifehacker’s Start-to-Finish Guide to Moving Huffington Post’s Guide to Moving with Less Stress Apartment Therapy’s 7 Things to Do Before You Move In More from Apartment Therapy on making a rental feel like home Tell us about your moving anxiety in the comments!  Does your city do an annual apartment shuffle?  Is it in September?  What resources for moving would you like to see on Rentwhich in the future? ...

When Your Apartment Isn’t Perfect on Day 1

You searched for apartments online and toured 5, 10, or possibly 20 different places. A diamond in the rough finally caught your eye. Some paint, curtains and a nice scrubbing would do wonders here. Road trip to IKEA!!! We can make this work right? Let’s fill out rental applications and submit those fat security deposit checks. That glorious move-in date arrives (usually September 1st) and you open the door to what will be your new crash pad for a year. What do you find? Paint peeling in random areas An old shower head that’s half functional Doors that can’t close An UTTERLY DISGUSTING kitchen The list could go on and on and on. You want to rip out your hair, scream and curse the apartment Gods. Go ahead, but at some point you have to take action. What do you do? Luckily this is the Information Age. We have user-friendly tools to create a virtual paper trail. Let’s be honest; on September 1st how many landlords are going to drop everything and fix your problems? Not many. Your best bet is to document all issues and initiate communication with your landlord. Here is a list of steps to remedy the situation: Don’t bring any of your things inside yet. I will say this again; LEAVE YOUR STUFF OUTSIDE, or place it inside the front entryway (if you’re worried about it being stolen). Contact your landlord; say the apartment has several problems and you’re going to send him/her a Move-In Inspection Checklist. This might also be called a “Move-In Inspection Report” or “Condition of Apartment Report.” You can easily find sample reports online. Take several pictures. Make sure you get the rooms, floors, sinks, shower, appliances, windows, doors, and specific areas that are damaged. You’re not liable for repairs if things were already in poor condition. Bring your personal items inside. Be sure to clean and sanitize where necessary. Complete your detailed report. Pictures will serve as your proof. Give the landlord another call and state the problems found. Send the report via email. If he/she doesn’t have an email address, then email everything to yourself (or take a picture of the report).  Go to the Post Office and mail the report with the signature confirmation service (more proof). Health & Safety trumps everything. Consider staying in a hotel or with a friend if you notice mold, rodents, insects, foul odors, or other alarming problems. Your apartment is supposed to be a “safe and habitable living environment” upon moving in; it’s not habitable if you have several problems. A landlord has about 5 days to respond to problems, and roughly 2 additional weeks to fix them. Stay out of the apartment and avoid the stressful situation. September is a good month to stay busy since the weather is nice. Unfortunately, not every living situation is perfect. Some students (and young professionals) will end up in apartments that don’t live up to the expectations set in the sales tour. If you find yourself in that situation, curse the apartment Gods, grab a latte, and be proactive with your complaints on day 1. Readers, have you been surprised when you moved in to a new apartment?  How did you handle it?  Tell in the comments about your move-in nightmares! ...

Welcome to Rentwhich

Welcome to Rentwhich.  Come in to our home.  Make yourself comfortable! We know that renting apartments can sometimes suck so we started Rentwhich to create a community where apartment dwellers can commiserate, learn, and take control of their rental lives.  With Rentwhich, you’ll have the confidence to decide which apartment to call home. We plan to bring you experts and fellow renters from across the US and Canada to talk about every aspect of apartment life from finding, moving, living in, and making the best of your four walls. Now, we’re sure you’re asking, why a sandwich? Well, a sandwich menu describes what’s inside the two pieces of bread. For example, you order a pastrami sandwich, not a rye sandwich! The Rentwhich vision is for apartments to work the same way. Renters should have more information about optimizing the time between the ad on Craigslist and turning in your key on move in day.  On the surface, apartments in your ideal neighborhood and price range can all seem the same, but the real differences appear once the lease has been signed. Your car insurance doubled, you pay 25% of your rent in utility bills, or you have a nightmare neighbor. We at Rentwhich want to show you how to better read the apartment menu so you like what’s inside of your temporary home. Readers!  Tell us in the comment section what you would like to see from Rentwhich.  What are your biggest rental headaches?  What did you wish you knew before your rented your first apartment?  Where else do you go for advice?  Keep the conversation going and thanks for reading! ...