8 Signs That Apartment You Are Looking at Isn’t For You

Danielle L'Ami
Last Updated on May 22, 2024
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It is important to not only find an apartment that fits all the checkboxes on your list, but also one that matches your personality and the style of life you choose to have. With all the apartments for rent out there, it can be overwhelming.

Sometimes, we may even try and convince ourselves that a place will work despite knowing that the apartment just won’t be a good fit for us. Often there are apartment red flags that will pop up and we need to pay attention to these signs in order to make the best decision for our living arrangements.

1. Too Many Available Places for Rent.

When looking for an apartment are there almost too many options to choose from within the building? If the building is up-and-coming this isn’t a bad sign, but if it has been around for a while and there are a variety of units to choose from, this may be an indicator that this building isn’t the best place to live in.

2. The Neighborhood Seems Sketchy.

Checking out the surroundings of the building you are interested in is key in helping you make your decision. But if many of the local shops and buildings have been closed down or are looking a little too rundown, the neighborhood may be trying to tell you something.

Do your research and check out the projected plans for the upcoming years before you make your decision. Also, check out the crime rates in the area, using tools like neighborhoodscout can help you determine whether a neighborhood is safe to live in.

3. Talk to Current Renters.

One of the best ways to tell what it is like to live in a building is to talk to the current residents living there. Asking questions about the landlord, the local area, and even the frequency in which renters come and go will help you see any apartment red flags.

4. Listen to The Locals.

After you have taken a look at the unit and maybe knocked on a few doors, take a moment to check out the local shops you may frequent if you choose to live in the area. Talk to the vendors and see if you can get an idea about the progression (or lack of) the neighborhood, this is especially helpful if they have been around for a while; local coffee shops and convenience stores are great for this.

5. The Landlord Lives Off-Site.

In some cases, this isn’t unexpected. The landlord runs multiple complexes so they may not choose to live in the same building you are looking into. But if you know that this is the only building that they run, then that could be a negative indicator.

6. Everything is Out of Order.

So, you’re taking a tour of the building and everything seems to be out of order; one of the elevators, the equipment in the gym, even some the of laundry machines. If it appears as though things aren’t getting fixed fast enough, then imagine what it will be like if something breaks down within your unit, how long will you be expected to wait to get it repaired?

7. Getting the Go-Ahead is Too Easy.

The landlord shows you the place and seems to want to upsell you on everything. They almost try and push you a little too hard. Then when you show a little interest they don’t even bother with any background or credit check. If it’s too easy for you then imagine who else it is too easy for to get a place in the same building?

8. Trust Your Gut.

Over time, my husband and I have lived in a variety of places and always for years at a time. Whenever we walked into a unit that just didn’t feel right, almost like crossing over to the dark side, we knew, often with just a glance to one another, that that place just wasn’t for us. If your insides are screaming at you to get out, trust your gut and get out!

Don’t rush the process of finding great and affordable apartments for rent that you can actually feel right about. Check out some great listings and remember the above 8 strategies and you’ll be soon finding your next dream apartment.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 12, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Danielle L'Ami

Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.
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