Monday

Be Sure You Want Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend on Your Lease

There will be those times when couples feel like moving in together is the best thing for the relationship.  However, sooner or later, they realize it was worst thing they could have done.  Now they are stuck living together, bound by a contract.  One is trying to get the other to move out, but this person isn't budging.  "You won't be moving your new girlfriend in after I leave!" the girlfriend shouts.  "I don't want anyone else living here, I just want you gone!" the boyfriend says.  These hurtful exchanges may end up with a police officer taking someone away in handcuffs or worse death.

When you know the relationship is rocky, don't put someone on the contract as a leaseholder.  Rather, put this person down as an occupant especially when you are the one with the job and he or she can't keep a job or don't work.  Couples ruin their credit when they prematurely move in with one another, not to mention, how they leave the condition of the apartment when they often fight--ugh!

I have seen my share of holes walls and doors due to angry fists, disgusting carpet stains because someone through something, even blood in places I rather not say.  There is an ugliness left behind in these suites after couples have spent much time arguing and fighting.  If you are sensitive to energies, you may feel some when you tour vacant suites.  One time, I was told about a ghost in one vacant apartment by one of my maintenance staff.  At first, I didn't believe him, so I checked it out.  What he thought was a ghost, was a dark spirit, an ugly black one that I saw in another dimension.  Now I don't know if the previous residents brought it with them when they moved in, but they sure left something behind for the next residents.  I was so nervous that I practically fell trying to get out of the suite.  I did get spiritual about this situation, I prayed and had hoped that the spirit would leave before the suite was shown to the next apartment shoppers.

When you are looking for an apartment, be sure you are going to get one with someone you plan on committing to long-term.  This means a person who you have planned a wedding date with and have at least met their family and friends.  By doing this, you may save yourself some future stress with apartment management, police, and your neighbors.

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Respecting the House Rules

When moving into an apartment, you will find that the management is not always carefree when it comes to disturbances in a complex. Oftentimes the violator is not the person who lives in the apartment, but usually mangement finds that it is the guests who are putting the resident's stay at risk. Sometimes people need a refresher on how to act when staying with someone. The following is an article that does just that,

Seven Tips on How to Act When Staying at Someone

Keep in mind, most leasing contracts do have something written about visitors. Overnight guests are usually allowed to stay for a limited time, but after the timeframe in the contract, they are considered residents. If management notices that your guest is living in the suite, he or she will ask you to come into the leasing office and put that person on your contract. If you should refuse, you may have your rights to the unit revoked. Meaning, you will be given a warning to adhere to the current policy or forfeit your right to occupy. If you still don't comply, the property management company can evict you. This will affect your credit and rental history.

Also, if the person, who has been living with you, is over the age of 18, you will need to undergo a background check like you did when you first applied for the apartment. If it is found that this person has a criminal history, then it will be up to the property manager to decide whether he or she can live on the property.

Allowing people to live in your apartment without permission can open a pandora's box of problems! If you don't plan on having them on your leasing contract, don't allow them to live with you.

Sunday

What Makes an Apartment Uninhabitable?

When you are living in an apartment unit, things can go wrong!  Sometimes it may take days, weeks even months for some owners to get around to fixing something in the unit.  The delay usually happens due to an owner's money problems, personal issues, or just because a tenant doesn't take his or her suite seriously enough to report an apartment problem more than once.  Sometimes residents don't bother reporting any maintenance issues because they don't want their privacy disturbed.  However, the longer you put off the issue the worse it will get and unfortunately in many cases, residents have lost their security deposits because they neglected to report damages they may have caused. 

Now there are those issues that residents are not responsible for.  Bad managers and owners know this, but will not address problems in the unit because they are hoping to save money.  Some may wait around before tending to an issue in the hopes that the resident will go ahead and get it done.  Sometimes problems in a unit can worsen and make the residence uninhabitable.  So the following is a list of conditions that would make a rental unit legally uninhabitable.

1.  Bad waterproofing and weather protection of roof and walls.  This would include broken windows and doors.

2.  Bad plumbing such as inoperable hot and cold water or no connection to a sewage system.

3.  Gas and heating facilities that don't work.

4.  Electric systems that are fire hazards such as lighting and equipment that doesn't work or frequently goes out.

5.  Unclean buildings, garages, rat and insect feces, and filth.

6.  Trash receptacles that are broken or no longer hold garbage.

7.  Bad flooring, stairways and railings.

8.  Toilets, wash basins, bath tubs and showers that don't work.

9.  An inadequate kitchen sink such as a leak or hole in piping.

10.  Windows that don't open or allow natural lighting.

11.  Inoperable deadbolt locks.

12.  Broken or absent smoke detectors.

Always check that these things are taken care of BEFORE you move in.  Don't trust property owners to ensure that issues get fixed after you have signed your lease and handed over your money.  Also, if you are already living in the suite and a major concern has yet to be addressed, seek legal counsel.  No one should have to live in an unfit unit.

Nicholl McGuire
Click on my link to read other work by me at a blog for parents.

Wednesday

What Should You Bring When Shopping for Apartment?

You don't want to miss out on a great apartment, because you don't have the necessary information and documentation that will qualify you to get it.  Since every company has different requirements, this blog entry will just cover the basics.  Always ask what is expected of applicants before you sign any lease.

1.  A valid government photo ID (Driver's Lic., Passport, etc.)
2.  Proof of income (pay stubs--usually more than one, bank statements)
3.  Social Security Card
4.  Application fee

Now if you are a student or new to the state or country, the criteria might be different.

1.  A valid government issued ID.
2.  Proof of income:  Two of the following.
     a.  A letter or contract from a new employer with a start date and your salary.
     b.  A government issued I-20 for foreign students.
     c.  Bank statements--usually more than one.  Will need a statement from a bank in the United States for foreign students.

You will also need satisfactory credit history that shows you can meet your future rent payments.
A security deposit will be required.  If your credit history is bad, the higher your security deposit.
A positive rental or home ownership history will also help you get the apartment.

The company will do a criminal background and credit check on all applicants 18 and over.

Some applicants will include character references with their paperwork, but it isn't necessary, nor will it "seal the deal" with the property manager since he or she has to report to the owners at the corporate office.

Thursday

Your Community Manager Always Knows More than She is Letting On

So you have a situation in your building or you need some kind of assistance outside of your community, well consider talking to your community manager or leasing staff where you live.  You will be surprised at what these people can help you with.

Sometimes local businesses visit her office monthly with leaflets and packets of useful information that may never reach your doorstep.  She may also know of other sister communities that might have units available in case you are looking to move.

Note your concern (always helpful to include dates and times,) take photos (if necessary) before you contact the office with your concern.  Then visit the leasing office on site or make a phone call to the property management company that is responsible for your building. 

Nicholl McGuire

Watch videos by this writer on other topics here.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media