Apartments are rad, but make sure you’re prepared when you move in to make everything run smoothly.

Many of you will be moving out of the dorms this year and moving into an apartment for college. Some of you might have already been living the apartment life for awhile, but for those who haven’t, there are a few tips that you should know as first-time renters. These tips come from HerCampus’ article on the subject and are meant more for those who have already chosen an apartment, signed a lease, and are getting ready to move into that new apartment in just a few weeks.

Document Your Apartment Upon Arrival

Just like in the dorms, at the end of your stay, you will be charged a fee if there are damages to your apartment. To avoid conflicts about whether or not that hole in the wall was really there before you moved in, make a note of every imperfection you can see in your apartment when you move in, from wall paint to carpet stains. Better yet, take pictures of them. And even better yet, walk through your apartment with your landlord while you do this. Additionally, print a copy of a Move-In Inspection Report to fill out with your landlord. This way you have visual documentation and as well as a report to prove that you didn’t cause any of the previous injuries to your apartment.

Find Out Who To Contact for Repairs and Emergencies

This is especially important now that you are moved into a safe place. In the dorms, it was easy to just call up Physical Plant or whatever department was in charge of plumbing. Now, you’ll need to find the best phone number to call for fixing anything that goes awry in your apartment. This might be your landlord, or it might be someone else. Make sure you always have these numbers on hand. Additionally, find out the number to call if there is a more serious emergency, like perhaps the apartment courtesy officer.

Keep Track of All Correspondence Between You and Your Landlord

If there is ever a dispute or misunderstanding about anything financial or otherwise between you and your landlord, it is a very good idea to have all of your emails or other interaction documented so that you can refer back to it to back up whatever it is you are discussing. This will prevent frustration in the future and even possible lawsuits. If you have a verbal conversation, either in person or on the phone, make sure to follow up with an email to get it in writing.

What tips do you have for first-time renters? Let us know in the comments!

[via HerCampus]

Photo courtesy of Loozrboy. Licensed under CC BY-2.0