If you have a young adult ready to fly the nest and it’s been a hot minute since you were in the rental market, we’ve got you. Share this article with your child and start making your checklists to set them up for success. If you’re the one who is about to get out on your own, congrats! Moving out is a huge milestone and the #cleaningarmy is here for it.
We have quite a few Gen Z’ers on the team @GoCleanCo who have recently gone through this and learned a lot along the way. Here are some really important points to consider:
Location is a HUGE factor when deciding where you want to live. What is important to you? Being close to your parents, friends, work, or school? Check out where the closest grocery store, pet store, restaurants and urgent care/hospitals are. Do you drive/have a vehicle or use public transit? If you use public transit, you will want to make sure you are close to a train or bus stop. Choose somewhere that is convenient and works for your lifestyle.
Are you living alone or splitting the rent with someone? Friendships can quickly sour in roommate situations if you don’t learn to communicate with each other. One of the biggest complaints roommates have with each other is that the other is a slob and not pulling their weight around the house. Don’t be that person. Before you move in, sit down and discuss expectations. Set up a cleaning rotation and schedule for shared areas like the kitchen, livingroom, entrances and bathroom(s). Who is responsible for unloading the dishwasher? Taking out the garbage? Everyone has a different level of cleanliness. It’s great to say “when the garbage is full the first person who notices has to take it out”, but we all know how that turns out. The next thing you know, you have a leaning tower of garbage escaping the bin. Get on the same page before it becomes an issue.
Another common roommate issue is buying communal supplies like food, toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Decide in advance how these costs will be split and purchased.
Safety is especially important whether living with roommates or living alone. First, you should see how safe the neighborhood itself is. If you aren’t sure, look it up online and look at the crime rate in the area. If you are moving into an apartment building check how secure the building is. Are there deterrents like cameras or onsite security? How well lit is the street, parking lot or parkade?
When looking at the rental unit itself ensure there are working locks on the doors and windows. Living on the first floor or a basement suite does enhance the risk of break ins. This isn’t certain, but it is something to think about. If the unit has security bars on the windows be sure that they can be opened easily from the inside incase of a fire or emergency.
When you’re moving in, make sure to get a fire extinguisher and first aid kit so you’re prepared in case of an emergency.
Important Amenities / Must Haves
Before you look at places, think about what is important to you. Make a list of must-haves and deal-breakers.
- Washer & Dryer (in unit or shared onsite)
- Pet Friendly
- Number of rooms/bathrooms
- Secure storage (bike lock up)
Consider how easy or difficult the move is going to be. Is it far from your current address? Are you moving to a new town or city? Will you need to rent a truck? Is there an elevator for moving in and out? Do you need to book the elevator to move in/out? Moving is a lot of work, plan it out and pack smart to make it easier for yourself.
Cleanliness and Condition of the Property
Before you sign any leases, tour the home and inspect it to see the overall quality of the home including the appliances, floors, cabinets, etc. You want to know that it’s been taken care of and that everything is in working order. So keep your eyes sharp when viewing any property and don’t be afraid to point things out that may be damaged or need to be repaired. This should be documented and you should receive a copy. Keep this document somewhere safe so you can refer to it when it comes time to move out. This is where your damage deposit comes in. You do not want to be on the hook for damages that were there when you moved in.
If you are renting, you want to know who you are renting from. Is it privately owned/maintained or is there a property manager? Your landlord can make or break your renting experience. Ask about maintenance on the property and how that is handled. Get contact information incase of an emergency. You should receive a copy of the tenant rules and responsibilities. There are rules for landlords and tenants. Know what is allowed and what your responsibilities and rights are as well as theirs.
Signing a lease is a big deal. You need to read it over thoroughly before you sign it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The lease should be made to protect both you and the landlord. Things to look for in your lease:
- When is the rent due? How is payment expected to be made? Post dated cheque, e-transfer or venmo.
- Landlord inspections – How often and how much notice must be given before entering the property. This will vary by state and province.
- Who is responsible for utilities, lawn care and snow removal, etc?
- How can the lease be terminated if needed and what will it cost?
- What is the term of the lease? (1 year, 6 months, etc)
- How much is the security/damage deposit?
- What is the condition of the home – is there any pre-existing damage? Make sure there is a written document of any damages so you won’t be charged for them when you move out.
Renter’s insurance is a must. It’s an inexpensive way to cover yourself and your possessions in case of a fire, break-in, flood, etc. It’s usually around $20-$30 a month and well worth it.
Moving out is a big step in life and we’re confident you’ll thrive! If you are feeling uneasy about cleaning some areas of the home, check out the rest of our blog. Or better yet, grab a copy of our handbook to keep in your new home.