HOUSING SEARCH CHECKLIST

                                                HOUSING SEARCH CHECKLIST

                                  BEFORE YOU BEGIN SEARCHING FOR A RENTAL, KEEP THESE ISSUES IN MIND

What kind of rental unit do you want to live in?

* Studio,1,2,3 or4 bedroom apartment
* Apartment in a private home
* Room in a shared house
* Room in a private home

What are your transportation needs?

* Within walking distance
* On a Gallaudet shuttle route
* On a Metro Bus/Rail route
* Using carpool or vanpool
* Proximity to a shopping center or a job site

What features are essential?

* Dishwasher
* Washer and dryer in the unit
* Air conditioning (room units or central air)
* Off-street parking
* Furniture included
* Handicapped accessibility
* Private room and/or bath
* Smoking (or not)
* Pets permitted

What are your financial means?

* Living with others can lower housing expenses
* Rooms in a student or private house tend to be the least expensive
* Include the cost of renting or purchasing furniture, if needed
* When calculating your maximum affordable rent, be sure to include utilities.

How much legal protection will you require?

* A one year lease offers a certain amount of legal protection
* Units that do not carry a lease offer maximum flexibility but limited legal protection

DURING YOUR HOUSING SEARCH

* Begin your search using the widest criteria possible. Narrow your choices by adding more features.
* Inspect the actual unit you intend to lease, and consider writing necessary repairs into the lease.
* Check the security of the unit.
* Check the fire safety of the unit (a smoke detector is required by law.
* Be sure that there are two means of exits from the unit.
* Arrange for internet service and utilities to be turned on by the time you move in.

AFTER YOU MOVE IN

* Complete a through inventory of your apartment.
* Give a copy of your inspection form to the landlord.
* Purchase renter’s insurance.
* Consider purchasing additional fire safety equipment (fire extinguisher, and/or smoke detectors).
Always get a written receipt from your landlord when you pay rent