First Time Apartment Renters: Everything You Should Have & Know

Moving into Your First Apartment Rental 

Renting your first apartment can be exciting, but it can also be quite stressful. Finding the right apartment community can be challenge, and compiling all the things you need to apply for a lease can be a hassle. This is why you should take some time to consider a few things before you start apartment searching. If you are a first-time renter, review this guide so nothing catches you off guard. 

Plan Your Budget 

Calculator, pen and budget sheet.

Planning your budget should be the first item on your agenda. Renting an apartment is not cheap, and there are other things you have to account for, like food, clothes, and potential emergencies. Figure out how much money you have to work with, so you can find an apartment that fits your financial situation. 

See how much money you currently have, and factor in the amount of money you receive in each paycheck. RentLingo says that 25% to 30% of your monthly income should be used for rent. Spending more than that on the rent each month will make it harder to buy other essentials, so find an apartment that suits this range. 

Most communities need you to pay security deposits, so be sure to account for this as well. 

Figure Out What Your Apartment Needs to Have 

Turning dial on the washing machine.

During your apartment search, you should take the time to consider what your ideal apartment needs to have. Knowing what you need ahead of time will help you narrow down your choices as you search around. 

If you are bringing a pet with you to the apartment, you need to find a community that allows them. The community you move to should also have onsite laundry facilities if you are bringing lots of clothes. 

Keep in mind that amenities like public swimming pools are “wants,” and are not necessary. While they can make your stay more comfortable, you do not need to have them to be happy. Focus on your needs first, and once you find a community that satisfies them you can see what other extras are available. 

Take Tours When Possible 

Aspen Greenapartment, living room, table, couch and flowers.

Many communities offer virtual tours, but the best way to get a feel for one is to be there in-person. If you have an eye on a particular community, schedule a tour so you can walk around and get an in-depth look. This will help you determine whether the community is a good fit for your choice of lifestyle. 

During the tour, take a look inside the apartments and look at the different amenities that are available. Test them out yourself to make sure everything works to your liking. Check the community’s parking options so you know where you can park your car. 
As you view the apartment, take the time to determine what furniture you need to buy as well. 

You can also use the tour as a way to ask the community manager specific questions. If you have any concerns, do not be afraid to bring them up during the tour. 

Get Renter’s Insurance 

Signing Document with pen

One of the best things a new renter can do is get renter’s insurance before moving into an apartment. While furniture is covered by your lease, personal belongings are not. If you damage your belongings, they will have to be replaced with your own money.  

With renter’s insurance, you can get reimbursed on any personal items that get damaged in your apartment. In addition, your personal belongings are protected while you are out traveling. With this plan, you can even get money in a rare situation where you have to leave your apartment for an emergency. 

Garden Communities CT residents should have a low-cost renter’s insurance plan before signing any leases. That way, your personal belongings will stay protected throughout the duration of your lease. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Potential GCCT Residents 

Review these common rental questions to make sure you are ready to go if you want to apply for an GCCT apartment. 

What Do I Need to Apply? 

When applying for an apartment, you will need a residency application, and a social security card (or Tax Identification Card). You will also need two recent payment stubs, and the initial deposit for the apartment. 

How Long is my Lease? When Can I Move In? 

A Garden Communities CT lease lasts one year. Give your lease a thorough review before you sign it to make sure everything is to your liking. 

You may move in once you sign your lease. You also have to provide the proper documentation, and the landlord needs to check your credit card.  

Is Rental Furniture Available? 

Tenants can rent furniture at certain communities. Please visit the Garden Communities CT leasing office to learn more. 

Can I Pay My Rent Online? 

Yes. After logging in online you may use the “Pay Rent Online” function to set up one-time or recurring payments. 

If you want to learn more about us, take some time to view our available communities.