Are you living alone or with roommates? How much rent can you afford? Once these issues are decided, consider the following methods of finding an apartment.
The safest way to find a good apartment is to move into an apartment or complex where a friend has already lived. This will let you use your friend's experience as a "test drive." Does the landlord make repairs? What do the utilities cost? How is the noise level? Is it a safe neighborhood? Are pets allowed?
Gather information on the phone before touring the apartment. Have your list of questions ready. How much is the rent? The deposit? How many bedrooms? Laundry? Storage? Off-street parking? Which utilities does the landlord pay? Are pets allowed? What is the term of the lease: One year, 6 months, month-to-month? If the information you obtain on the phone sounds good, set up an appointment to view the apartment.
Before renting an apartment, find out how other renters rate the apartment complex you are considering by going to www.apartmentratings.com. You can find out the percentage of previous tenants who would recommend this apartment complex to a friend. You can also rate the apartment yourself—and the management—and comment on your experience with this landlord.