Five tips for your first apartment rental!
Searching for a new apartment and moving in can be exhausting, and when it comes to renting your first apartment, the task is particularly challenging. If you're not experienced, there's a chance something unpleasant might surprise you. To avoid complications, we've prepared a checklist for you to go through before you take the final jump into your independent life. An exciting phase is ahead of you, so we want you to enjoy the process!
Rental costs in Serbia
The cost of rent is often the deciding factor, but the monthly rent is not the only thing to consider. As for the initial investment, check how much deposit you will have to give to the landlord right away and whether the apartment requires renovations or new furnishings.
Additionally, the monthly utility bill (in Serbia is called Infostan) can vary significantly depending on the city, municipality, and the size of the property. On the City Expert website, with each apartment listing, find the costs for the deposit, utilities, heating, TV package deal, internet, and building maintenance. We've made sure you have all this information when searching for an apartment, so you won't be surprised when the first bills arrive. Some landlords expect payment for several months in advance, and we've marked such ads accordingly.
Considering that the costs of renting a residential space can be quite high (whether you're a student, employed, or planning to live in some form of community), a particular advantage when renting an apartment with our agency is that you, as tenants, don't pay any agency commission.
Choosing the location and type of property
For most people, the main criteria when looking for an apartment is the specific location in which they would like to reside. Reasons can be proximity to work, college, family - these are all personal preferences that we won't go into here. What we can advise is to consider whether it's important to you to live in a dynamic neighborhood, potentially close to major roads, or whether you prefer a quiet area. If you work from home, it's more important for you to have a spacious workspace and a quiet environment than to live in a bustling city center. For families with children, it is important to live close to daycare centers, schools, shopping and medical centers. For students, proximity to the university and student dining facilities is paramount.
When it comes to renting living space, properties on the ground floor, basement, and attic are universally less desirable and, therefore, more affordable. However, that doesn't mean these types of properties aren't suitable for anyone. On the contrary, if you have a pet, a ground-floor apartment with access to a yard can be perfect. On the other hand, someone might happily choose an attic for their living space because it provides plenty of light, a beautiful view, privacy, and the interior can be designed very inspiringly.
First apartment tour
Although we've made an effort to provide all necessary information about the apartments on our website, which you can virtually tour through video and 360-degree photos, there are still a few essential questions you must ask the apartment owner in person. For example, whether you can make minor interior changes and who is responsible for repairs if an issue arises. Regarding this, on-site, test appliances, locks, inspect furniture and carpentry, and it's crucial to assess whether there's dampness in the space.
On the City Expert website, use a large number of detailed filters to quickly find apartments that accept pets, have the desired appliances, a specific type of heating, and many other "details" that matter in life.
The lease agreement for real estate is signed upon moving into the rented apartment to regulate potential disputes between the landlord and the tenant in advance. For example, this document specifies the minimum duration of the lease, the amount of rent, the notice period, rights, and obligations for both parties.
This document largely protects tenants because, after the landlord gives notice, the tenant has a legal period of 90 days in the summer and 120 days in winter to move out. If the tenant terminates the lease, they must announce it one month in advance.
When you have a signed lease agreement at your residence, you can register your residence with the police and use the benefits of tenant rights: enroll your child in daycare or school, transfer your health record to the nearby health center, rent parking spaces, and much more. It's essential to know that this document doesn't need to be notarized to be legally valid.
Why does renting an apartment require paying in advance?
A deposit for an apartment is a monetary sum that the tenant gives to the landlord as a guarantee to take care of the property and return it to its original condition. In case damage is discovered at the end of the lease or if all bills are not paid, the landlord retains the deposit amount needed to cover these costs. The deposit is usually returned if all obligations are fulfilled, and the agreement is respected. It's possible to arrange for the deposit to serve as a replacement for last month's rent.
Because of all this, the relationship you'll establish with the future landlord is crucial. Many experienced tenants agree that good communication with the landlord is sometimes more critical than the rent amount or any other requirement regarding the apartment.
As an online real estate agency with years of experience, we know how important all these listed items are when it comes to renting an apartment. We hope our advice has helped you, and don't miss reading more about these topics on our blog.