My recent foray into apartment-hunting yielded some pretty atrocious results. Though I had mastered the art of negotiation (or so I imagined), I had failed to recognize a few fairly obvious warning signs. A few roach motels, a filthy bathroom and an unsecured front door, to name a few; so enthralled was I by an incredible deal, I overlooked a plethora of red flags.
Because no individual should suffer needlessly, I have enumerated several warning signs, both the obvious and inconspicuous. Had I initially adhered to these basic standards, I never would’ve encountered such wretched misfortune.
Red Flag #1: Ubiquitous dirt
A good landlord will at least attempt to clean an apartment prior to showing it. Film-ridden bathtubs, baby pacifiers, and half-filled beer cans are quite revealing, and not only about the lives of previous tenants. These remnants could foreshadow the treatment to come.
Red Flag #2: A plethora of roach motels
Roach motels strewn throughout the apartment definitely lend to the possibility of a roach problem. Refute landlord if he attributes roach surge to the rain. Roach-lined doors lend to similar theories of infestation; if you identify a bronze-colored substance surrounding doors, windows, and air conditioners, it’s probably a roach gel.
Red Flag #3: Psycho neighbors
Beware of disconcerting neighbors; they can make apartment life intolerable. If a neighbor threatens your life upon a simple inquiry-i.e. requesting he move his car a bit-he might be disturbed, and should probably be avoided. Psychotic neighbors are never pleasant, so do reconsider your options. In fact, crazy neighbors could be the underlying reason for an abandoned apartment-maybe the one into which you are moving.
Red Flag #4: Unsecured doors
An unsecured door, one with holes or a weak foundation, could be cause for considerable concern. Not only is it an invitation to intruders, but it also gives critters direct access to your home. Wonder why you have palmetto bugs wriggling in your garments? Your front door might be the culprit.
Now, these guidelines may seem a bit conspicuous, but beware: if you’re desperate for an apartment, and negotiate a great deal on a mediocre place, do weigh out your options prior to commitment. Take your time examining the apartment before you seriously consider it. Even if it seems inexpensive, there’s no point in paying if you don’t end up staying.