When it comes to navigating the often-choppy waters of young adulthood, few things can be more intimidating than renting your own apartment. Whether solo, with an SO, or with a 90s sitcom-esque gaggle of roommates, figuring out how to get a good place to live without getting screwed over is one of your biggest post-grad challenges. And while we should all be relatively optimistic in assuming the best of people and choosing to be optimistic, the truth is that there are a lot of ways to get money, time, or worse drained from your life when you rent the wrong place, or from the wrong people.
Landlords aren’t all bad (I’ve been mostly-lucky with mine, actually!), but they aren’t universally great, either. The truth is that, particularly in competitive rental markets where there is little incentive to go out of your way for a renter, and a high incentive to keep them turning over so you can continue to jack up the rent, a landlord often-high financial interest in being an asshole. Whether that mean withholding a deposit, refusing to carry out repairs, or disputing pre-existing damages, the ways in which the renter is vulnerable are pretty varied and intimidating. And ending up in small claims court with an old management company or owner is not as uncommon as you might think.
Even those aforementioned roommates can be a source of serious stress if you don’t take a lot of precautions before deciding to share a living space. While the Craigslist roommate search can sometimes yield great and long-lasting friendships, they can also often land you in serious hot water, especially when you’re the sucker in the house who isn’t actually on the lease.
Protecting yourself is always the biggest, most important thing to do when renting a place, and knowing where the landmines are is the first step to making sure you are solidly protected. So for this week’s video, Lauren and I explored the different ways you might get screwed over when renting a place, and how to best steel yourself against the worst possible scenarios.
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