5 Things I Learned When I Got Locked Out of My Apartment

Like any recent college graduate, I thought I was quite the grownup when I signed the lease on my very first apartment in Boston five years ago. But unlike getting locked out of a dorm room, getting locked out of a real city apartment was quite the challenge. It all started when my new roommate, who I was just getting to know, left for a weeklong vacation. No problem. I could handle a week on my own in the big city, right? WRONG. The second I stepped out of my apartment for my post-work jog, (such a grown-up activity!) I realized I left my keys inside. It eventually happens to everyone, but getting locked out is never fun. Here are the five life lessons I learned when it happened to me: Neighbors are nice After realizing I was locked out, I needed a place to collect myself, but more importantly, I had to borrow someone’s phone to call my landlord for help. I knocked on my neighbors’ doors – something I had never done, and was relieved when a couple of normal-looking girls around my age answered the door downstairs. Immediately I wondered why I hadn’t reached out to them before – we should have been friends! They were super gracious and sat with me while I made calls all over the city trying to find a way back into my new Boston abode. Landlords don’t know everything The first call I made was to my landlord, who I was sure would have a spare set of keys. Unfortunately, she said that she wouldn’t be able to drive into the city that night to let me in. I asked her what to do next. Her suggestion: call AAA. Yes, the AAA that provides car tows. But hey, I was new to the grown-up world and thought maybe there was an AAA apartment service I wasn’t yet aware of. I called AAA and inquired about having them unlock my apartment – the customer service agent’s confusion quickly turned into laughter at my question. I hung up, defeated. Turns out that landlords don’t always have a good solution and sometimes you have to take things into your own hands. Patience is a virtue After finally getting ahold of a locksmith that would let me into my apartment, I was told I’d have to wait three hours for him to arrive. Yes, three full hours with these neighbors I barely knew. Getting locked out definitely requires a certain amount of zen in order to stay sane. Locksmiths are expensive! My hero locksmith arrived, cut off my lock, and installed a new doorknob. Safe at home at last to the tune of $500. Of course he requested this money in cash, which seemed shady, but I got a receipt. If you leave your keys at home, be ready to pay the price – literally. This might require giving up happy hours and grocery delivery for a while. Hide a spare Of course, the single most important lesson I learned by getting locked out is to have a spare set of keys hidden somewhere (and please, don’t hide your keys under the one pair of boots in the hallway…so obvious). A great solution is having a trustworthy friend keep a set for safe keeping and you can do the same for them. You never know when this will save you $500, 3 hours, and an embarrassing call to AAA. What embarrassing things have you done to get back in to your apartment after you were locked out?  Tell us in comments! ...

5 Easy Ways to Save on Moving Costs

As someone who has moved three times in the past three years, I have definitely learned most of the dos and don’ts of moving to a new apartment.  These tips below will help you save time and money and remain (mostly) sane during your move! Tip #1: Sell or donate what you don’t need Take some time to go through your belongings.  Figure out what you don’t really need or want and either sell or donate those items.  During my most recent move, I sold a few miscellaneous items on eBay, gave some knick knacks to a coworker, and donated a good amount of clothing.  By getting rid of these items, I saved money on packing supplies, saved time on packing and unpacking, and saved myself from the laborious task of moving more boxes.  Plus, someone else will be able to enjoy the items you don’t need! Tip #2: Gather moving supplies in advance Don’t wait until a few days before the big move to pick up moving supplies.  Start strategizing weeks (or even months) in advance. If any friends have moved recently, see if they have boxes leftover from their move.  Use empty boxes from paper reams at work or pick up empty boxes from a nearby liquor store.  Hold onto boxes from packages in the mail in the months leading up to the move.  Get creative! Save bubble wrap from packages prior to the move.  Buy packing tape when it’s on sale or buy it online in bulk. Tip #3: Pack smarter When packing, make sure that your items are sufficiently protected to prevent breakage.  Use towels, newspaper, paper towels, or even socks.  I made sure that I had plenty of supplies (see tip #2) to ensure that all of my items made it to the new apartment without being damaged. Tip #4: Research, research, research Whether you are renting a U-Haul and moving yourself or hiring movers, do your research.  Make sure that you look into all aspects of the move and ask questions as needed.  For example, did you know that U-Haul can change your requested pickup location only a few days in advance?  Try to be flexible if everything doesn’t go according to plan – it won’t, trust me – but doing the necessary research ahead of time will make you much more prepared. Tip #5: Change your address When you change your address with USPS, you will receive a ton of high value coupons.  When I moved earlier this year, I got the following coupons via email and in the mail from USPS:         10% off Target in-store         10% off Best Buy in-store         15% off Crate&Barrel in-store, online, or via phone         20% off Pier1 in-store         10% off wayfair.com online Use these coupons strategically!  My boyfriend and I used the 10% off coupon (along with a handful of other coupons) in Target when we did a huge shopping trip for groceries, household items, apartment decorations, and more.  We also saved the 20% off Pier1 coupon for when we were ready to purchase a few major pieces of furniture at one time. Following these tips will make the whole moving process much easier and will help you save money, which you can later spend on enjoying restaurants in your new neighborhood and decorating your apartment! How do you save money when you move?  What have been the worst financial burdens when moving?  Tell us in the comments! ...

Apartment Composting 101

Now you can follow my blog with Bloglovin! It’s tough to save money and live sustainably when you are renting but often you can grow a few staple veggies on a patio even in the smallest spaces.  You can save even more (and be greener) by composting your kitchen scraps as a growing medium!  Learn how with this infographic from Sustainableamerica.org: Have you tried composting in your apartment?  What do you do to live sustainably in your apartment? ...

There Are Mice in my Apartment!

  I moved to Boston two years ago, into a lovely 2-bedroom apartment in Brookline with two amazing roommates. We were complete strangers who just met the day before Moving Day and enlisted the help of a realtor in our apartment search. He showed us three apartments; we ended up taking the first one we saw. Rent was steep, but it worked between the three of us and the location was wonderful. We converted the living room space into a third bedroom (the realtor’s suggestion, OK-ed by the apartment building manager,) my roommate’s mother put in a real door for the third bedroom when she visited for Thanksgiving, and our apartment was complete. Life was good. But about seven months in, small, dark pellets began appearing on our kitchen counter top and stove. We cleaned it up once, twice, several more times until it was clear: the pellets were mouse poop, and there were mice getting into our apartment. The first thing I thought of was that the realtor had said, very definitively, that our apartment building had no history of mice or pests whatsoever. I never saw a single cockroach or centipede in that apartment, but the mice… well, they stuck around for eight months or so before they were completely out of our apartment. Note to self: never believe what a realtor says about an apartment. We called our super in to get the mice out. He pulled out the stove (yes, they can be pulled out, and you should clean behind them regularly) and found large gaps in the wall where the mice had been getting in and out. He filled the holes with foam sealant, and cleaned up the mice poop. We stopped seeing the poop for a short while, but it reappeared. More holes were found in the floor and walls around the heating pipes. Glue traps were set (although no mice were caught, thank goodness.) A ‘pest exterminator’ came, but the situation didn’t improve. Our super came in at least two more times, each time finding a hole that wasn’t sealed previously. The mice finally stopped coming when the last hole was sealed: a one-inch crack in the tiled bathroom wall. Have you ever encountered mice in your apartment?  It’s pretty gross but you can do something about it!  The next time you are looking at apartments, here’s what to do before signing the lease: Bring a flashlight with you to an apartment showing. Look for mice poop in dark corners, underneath the heating baseboards and near any visible cracks in the walls or floor. Are the existing tenants keeping the kitchen clean? Talk to them and apartment neighbors if you can and ask about pests. When you move in, look underneath heating baseboards and behind the refrigerator and stove for gaps and seal them before you block them with your furniture and forget about them. You can prevent mice living in the walls of your apartment from coming into your unit by making sure that there are no gaps through which they can enter. Often, the holes around heating pipes are deliberately left there to allow for expansion, especially for copper pipes. So do ensure that gaps are properly sealed with an appropriate material. And if, God forbid, mice find their way to your apartment, take care of them right away. Call your landlord to bring someone in and be home when the work is done so you can ensure it is done thoroughly. Don’t let them stop after finding and sealing the first hole; look everywhere for holes and seal them all. I’d rather never see the mice again than catch them in traps, but here’s a good link for the different mouse traps both you and your landlord can install. A seemingly-perfect apartment can be indelibly marred if you have to live with pests. My apartment’s mice problems made the other perks – perfect location, reasonable rent, free heat and hot water – completely insignificant. The lease ended recently, and I have no plans for renting from the same company, or using realtors, again. ...

GIVEAWAY! – $50 The Container Store Giveaway

You spoke and Rentwhich listened!  During our IKEA gift card giveaway, many of you said that one of your biggest renting challenges was finding space to store and organize in your small apartments.  To help you manage those small spaces, we’re giving away a $50 The Container Store gift card!  Share your most creative tips for storage in small spaces for a chance to #win! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. You can read the full terms and conditions there, but the most important parts are: the giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. 18 or older (you must be an adult according to your local laws). Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on October 6th, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway ...

Top Cities for Young Professionals – Infographic

The most obvious advantage to renting is that your financial chains are lighter and you, therefore, have more freedom to move around.  If you are a bit of a rolling stone and need to decide which city to call home next, check out this helpful infographic from Forrent.com.  Though we would like to add that we’re partial to a few other cities (ahem.. Boston!). Top Cities for Young Professionals and Families Created by: ForRent.com Alright city loyalists!  It’s time to duke it out.  What city do you think is best for young professionals? ...

5 Things I Learned from Moving to Canada

Before last December, I’d briefly visited Montreal and Vancouver, but the idea of moving to Canada never crossed my mind. Then my fiancée/common-law husband landed a new job opportunity in Victoria, British Columbia and six weeks later, we were packing up our Boston apartment and moving to B.C. We’ve spent almost six months in our new adopted city, so Lyn asked me to share some of my cross-border experiences. Expect non-citizen surcharges. Having lived in the U.S. as a U.S. citizen for my entire life (aside from study abroad in London one summer), I hadn’t noticed all the little things that cost more when you aren’t a citizen or permanent resident. When I visited the doctor to get my prescriptions transferred, the clinic wanted to charge an extra $100 to cover the extra liability of treating an American who might try to sue them in her home country (I guess our reputation as being overly litigious precedes us!). I’ve heard of auto body shops that charge expats for lots of extra repairs when they get their vehicle inspected and registered. And don’t get me started on the first-time home-buyer transfer tax exemption that doesn’t apply to recent immigrants! Find a flexible landlord. Moving to a new country is pretty big step and the last thing we wanted was to be locked into a 12-month lease in a neighborhood we’d end up hating. So we lived in two short-term furnished rentals, before we bought a condo of our own (yes, bought). The first place was super-modern, stylish and in a cool neighorbood. But that apartment turned out to be pretty chilly in February. We didn’t know that until we moved in, because we visited it during a whirlwind 36-hour trip and never even removed our coats for the showing. Whoops! At least we’d only committed to living there for a month. The other apartment was not drafty despite being right on the water, but as transplants, we didn’t know that homeless people tend to congregate near the building because of its proximity to a shelter. That landlord only required 30-days’ notice, so once we found our condo, we didn’t have to worry about breaking a lease. In general, British Columbia tends to be a bit more tenant-friendly than Boston, which is nice. Turn OFF data roaming on your smartphone. When we first arrived, I hadn’t planned on getting a Canadian smartphone, because I figured I’d just use the WiFi on my American phone. I knew enough to turn off data roaming, but I after restarted my phone multiple times and updated the software, we were shocked to receive an extra large bill for (you guessed it) data roaming. I now have a Canadian smartphone so I can look up directions or check emails on the go, but I’m still figuring out how Canadian cell phone plans work. Unlike the U.S., where you can call anywhere in the country with the same pool of minutes, you can actually incur long-distance charges here even for calling someone with the same area code. And not all phone plans automatically come with voicemail. (You have to request it, which baffles me!) You won’t miss Hulu (that much). The TV-streaming service Hulu.com does not work in Canada unless you use a VPN. At first, Lyn was horrified to hear that I got my “Parks and Recreation” fix by binge-watching episodes I’d missed on trips back to the U.S. But as I later discovered, most U.S. shows are available on Canadian networks, often a different one than the U.S. Substitute Hulu for any small luxury you’re used to in your home country (Trader Joe’s products, say, or iTunes Radio), and I think most expats can relate. You figure out substitutes or new little indulgences over time. I even talked to an American expat living in South American who missed Ranch dressing so much he learned to make his own. Embrace the local culture. I didn’t full understand how much people could love maple syrup and ice hockey until we moved here just before the Winter Olympics. Aside from all the touristy stuff, we’ve been binge-watching “Dragon’s Den” (the Canadian version of “Shark Tank”) on Netflix. Hearing entrepreneurs from all across Canada pitch their ideas has given me a crash course in the different provinces and nuances of how people speak and do business. One notable difference between “Dragon’s Den” and “Shark Tank” is that the investors in the tank (two of whom are Canadian and also in the Den) get extremely cutthroat about competing offers. In the den, they’re more likely to partner with another dragon or graciously bow out, saying the other dragon’s offer was better. That friendlier, more collaborative mindset is a breathe of fresh air! Have you moved to another country? How was your experience and what did you miss most? Leave a comment and let us know! ...

10 Fall Decor Ideas for Renters

Seasonal decorating in a rental is tough. It is tempting to purchase cute ceramic autumn leaves, witch statuettes or plastic jack o’lanterns, but these items need a lot of storage space and are irrelevant for most of the year. So how can you make your home festive and cozy without using all of your closet space to store Halloween décor and pumpkin scented potpourri bags? Luckily, there are a few small tricks to make even a white-washed apartment feel cozy this fall: Clean Away Signs of Summer – The first and easiest way to prep your living space for fall is to clean away remaining signs of summer. Store fans and air conditioners, and put most of those flip flops currently by the front door back in your bedroom closet. Dust – There is a good chance you’ve had your windows open all summer, which is wonderful, but it’s probably allowed dust from the city streets to settle on your furniture and tabletops. Before shuttering the windows for the season, take a wet rag to all surfaces in your apartment so you can start fresh for a new season. This quick task is surprisingly effective at making your home more comfortable and guest-ready for a new season. Doormat – A doormat is a welcoming gesture that can is helpful all year round. Its purpose is particularly relevant in the fall, however, because the changing seasons often mean dirty, rain-soaked boots! Blankets – Adding a few stylish throws over the back of couches or chairs is both inviting and cozy. Plus, you can save a few dollars on your monthly heating bill by using blankets and sweaters to keep warm in the late fall instead of tuning up your thermostat. Just be mindful not to let temperatures get so low that pipes burst. Pumpkins – pumpkins are festive, fun, and disposable at the end of the season (and compostable)! Carve jack o’ lanterns with friends and family, or keep a small pumpkin as a centerpiece on any table. Music – music is a clutter-free way to bring atmosphere to a space of any size. Décor is often thought of as a visual tool, but creating an atmosphere in your home requires all of the senses. Especially for people in tiny apartments, music can become a valuable method in creating a good vibe. Electric candles – Landlords, particularly in older, densely-populated areas, really don’t like candles because of the high risk of fire. However, flickering battery or solar-powered candles are a great solution to making an apartment cozier as the temperatures drop. They are safer, longer-lasting, and can be set on timers to go on and off at the same times every day. Candy – A small candy dish is also a great piece of décor since it requires very little storage space, while also giving everyone a reason to smile. Candy, of course, is especially important for Halloween season. Choose candies that can handle small changes in temperature – mainly, avoid chocolate for this reason, until winter. Bake Something – Like music, having something baking when you’re expecting guests is a great way to add yet another sense into your rental space’s atmosphere. Baked goods smell fantastic, don’t take up space, and definitely add a level of coziness and warmth to any kitchen. Tea Kettle – A simple stovetop tea kettle is a charming way to add a sense of “fall” to your home. It doesn’t take up too much space (I mean, when you’re not cooking, there isn’t much else you can store on a stovetop indefinitely), and is helpful when unanticipated visitors stop by or the weather has suddenly gotten chilly. Voila, ten budget-friendly autumn décor suggestions for renters of small apartments! Renters, what do you do to make your apartment feel like home?  What is your favorite thing about fall? ...

Cost of Renting in NYC – It’s Not Your Imagination

It’s hardly worth repeating but, yes, In fact, the smarties over at the NYU Furman Center did the math to determine exactly how high the rent has gotten.  Check out their infographic! New Yorkers!  What are you doing to combat exploding rents?  Moving further out?  Downsizing?  Taking on extra work hours? Readers from other cities!  Are you city’s rents getting too damn high too?  Tell us in the comments. ...

What’s Your Top Must-Have Apartment Feature?

We always hear that the most important features in real estate are location, location, location but, at Rentwhich, we understand that the decision about which apartment to call home can be more complicated than that. Let us know what you think is the most important feature of an apartment.  If your top feature isn’t listed, choose other and tell us your top feature in the comments or tweet to #musthaveapt! ...

Happy New Apartment Day!

To all of you moving in today, good luck. Here’s to a great year in your new place! Party at your place tonight! Tell us your best #moveinday2014 stories on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments! ...

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! ...