Renting Your First Apartment: Things You Need to Consider

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renting first apartment

Moving out for the first time is an exciting milestone, especially if you have just secured your first real job. Your very own space is a testament to your debut into the adult world. The excitement of the idea should, however, not mask the importance of the process or make you feel intimidated by all there is to do. While moving can be a daunting task for anyone, even people who have moved before, information on what to do and what is important can go a long way in simplifying the process.  Below are the major considerations you need to make as you plan your move.

Your Budget

moving first apartment - your budget

Rent is a major expense that will take up a substantial chunk of your salary. So ensure you choose an apartment that you can comfortably pay for each month. Also, do not forget the upfront costs that you will have to pay for before you even move in. Most landlords in Kenya require one month’s deposit plus the rent as you move in. Others ask for 2 or 3 months’ deposit. Additional costs might include electricity and water deposits paid to the landlord. This means that you should have saved enough to cater for all these costs; and other miscellaneous charges like garbage and service charge.

Apartment Basics

Before settling down on a particular apartment, think about basic attributes of the apartment you would like and those that are important to you. For instance, make sure the apartment is the right size, is near what you consider essential amenities that support your lifestyle. Also, find out if there is an issue with electricity or water supply in the area. It beats all sense moving in, then realising that water or electricity is rationed and you now have to start looking again.

What do You Really Need?

Moving into your own apartment can be so exciting. You probably have lots of ideas on how you want your new home to look. The plans on how to furnish, wall colour and designs, personalised furniture and lighting… Take a step back and breath. Obviously, you cannot do all this at a go. There are basic items that you might overlook in your rush to have your dream space. For instance, you need basic furniture like a bed, a sofa, a table; utensils; cookware and toiletries. You will then replace and add to what you have with time.

Remember, that you don’t need to carry everything you own with you to your new apartment no matter how tempting it is. This will only make your apartment full in a very short time before you even get all the basic items in. Your decision to move out should include a decision to purge and throw out all junk and clutter.

Lease Agreement

renting first apartment - lease agreement

Some landlords in Kenya will present you with a lease agreement to sign once you pay your rent and the other associated charges. The lease agreement is basically a legal document between a landlord and each tenant, specifying rules to live by and defining any repercussion should the set rules be broken. A good lease agreement provides security to both you and the landlord and helps prevent misunderstandings. Do not skim through the document, read it through carefully and ask the landlord questions if you have any. It is recommended that you have someone with more experience look at it and advise as well before you sign it.

Storage Space

You need to consider the fact that the apartment you are moving into might not have enough storage space to cater for all your stuff. This means that you will need to improvise your own storage solutions that are both functional and aesthetic. For instance, you can instal some under-the-bed storage bins, that tuck away clothes and other items out of site. You may also consider installing shelves in different rooms.

Roommates and Pets

renting first apartment - roommates

If you intend to live with other people or furry friends in your apartment, you need to make a few considerations. For instance, is the space sufficient? Is your roommate willing to sign the lease agreement? If they are not, it might be a problem so you might need to drop them. You also need to set ground rules that will ensure you live in harmony.

As for pets, you need to confirm whether they are allowed. The space should also be sufficient for them to move around comfortably. Consider their feeding, exercise and also where you will place their litter box. If you are not sure about how it will all work out, you can postpone bringing them in until you settle.

The Move

renting first apartment - movers

Relocation is hard work. It is not something you can do on your own. You can enlist the help of friends and family to help you move. Alternatively, you can engage professional movers. Good thing about this is the seamless efficiency and peace of mind knowing that your items will be handled professionally.

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.
 

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