What I Wish I Knew my First Time Renting
Anything new requires a learning curve. If only we could travel to our past and tell ourselves what we know now – things would be much easier the first go-around! Thankfully, I have some tips for any first-time renters out there from what I learned from my first experience renting an apartment.
So you’ve found your dream Camden home and have been approved for the apartment you fell in love with! Your Camden team is exceptional with email checklists of everything you will need before picking up keys. They are there for YOU – to answer your questions and prepare your apartment for move-in. It is up to you to complete the move in checklist items, thankfully the email checklist describes each item with specific instructions. Completing these items makes move in day go super smoothly.
To expand on some of the move in items, here are some helpful questions and answers to consider:
Renters insurance: why do I need it and how do I get it? Renters insurance is essential – life happens and at the end of the day, there is no predicting what can happen in any home. Renters Insurance provides the protection you need for those “just in case” scenarios. Hopefully you will not encounter one of those scenarios but if you do, you will be tremendously thankful you signed up for renter’s insurance. Camden requires renter’s insurance and highly recommends eRenterPlan as your provider for a few reasons: eRenterPlan is easy to sign up for online, Camden residents are pre-approved, and eRenterplan communicates directly with Camden to relieve you of having to forward your information to the Camden team.
Utilities: How should I budget for these, what is included in my rent already and how do I set up my utilities? Ask your specific Camden team! They should be able to give you a good idea of how much – on average – current residents spend on water, electricity, gas, cable, internet, etc. What’s more is many Camden communities already provide a technology package which includes your cable and internet—one less service you have to worry about putting in your name and one less bill you have to remember to pay each month! Water can be paid along with your rent online – each apartment is individually metered so it is up to you how much or how little water you use. Likewise, electricity and gas (if your apartment has gas) bills will depend on how conservative you are with these utilities. Your Camden team will provide you the contact information to put electricity and (if applicable) gas in your name.
Payment fees: What fees might I incur paying rent online and can I avoid them? Camden makes paying rent online easy-peasy. As far as service fees – if you pay with a Visa card, you will incur a flat service fee. If you pay with AmEx, Master Card or Discover, you will incur a roughly 3% service fee. To avoid service fees, click eCheck to input your account and routing numbers! Paying with a card may help you earn points and paying with account and routing numbers will save you the services fees so choose which payment option is best for you!
Photo courtesy of MyCamden.com.
Inventory and Condition Form: What is it and why does the Camden Office need it back within 48 hours? During your move-in orientation, you will receive one form to bring back into the office called your Inventory and Condition Form. This is your opportunity to inspect the condition of your apartment upon move-in. Your Camden team has already thoroughly examined your apartment to ensure everything meets the Camden Living Excellence standard. However, to be sure everyone is on the same page, try out all your appliances, lights, and plumbing fixtures, and make sure everything works and looks excellent. Then be sure to mark on your inventory and condition form that everything looks great or if you have any service requests, be sure to mark them on the form and return to the office as soon as possible.
Moving day: should I schedule a move-in appointment? Yes! Letting your Camden team know when they can expect you will ensure a team member will be in the office at that time to conduct your move-in orientation and hand over keys. There may be other residents moving in the same day as you – scheduling your move-in time will aid the moving process for everyone. Be sure to ask a Camden team member about the best spot for your moving truck and any necessary procedures such as reserving a loading dock or acquiring a parking pass for your moving truck.
Renting an apartment for the first time is exciting – there is no better feeling than loving your home. Remember that your Camden team is a fantastic resource for all your questions and aiding with the entire move-in process!