Apartment Hunting During a Pandemic

Many things about the post-coronavirus world look different, and that includes renting an apartment. While the process used to involve in-person tours and signings, social distancing has made those situations a challenge. Here are a few things to expect if you’re searching for an apartment during the pandemic.

1. An in-person tour probably won’t happen.

While it’s nice to visit an apartment prior to signing a lease agreement, social distancing guidelines makes this difficult. Many landlords are offering virtual tours via FaceTime for their potential tenants. Others are allowing interested renters to tour the apartment on their own by giving them access to a lockbox with a special code.

2. It’s still wise to check out the neighborhood before signing a lease.

Even if aren’t able to an apartment in-person before moving in, you still can- and should- check out the neighborhood. Look for things like traffic in the area and businesses that may attract crowds of people. Things like that may deter you from renting if you know that the neighborhood isn’t very quiet. You might even have the opportunity to meet a few of your potential neighbors- as long as you follow social distancing guidelines.

3. Landlords may give you a break on rent, but it’s no guarantee.

With so many people unemployed, some landlords are offering discounts to their tenants like a free month’s rent if you pay several months in advance, or a reduced security deposit. While it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’re offering any specials, try not to push the issue if there are more potential tenants vying for the same apartment. Doing so may put you out of the running.

4. Proof of income is still important, but some landlords are being lenient.

While having good credit is great, if you don’t have the income to back it up, it can be difficult to get a landlord to rent to you. Some landlords are more understanding than others, though, so it doesn’t hurt to apply if you’re unemployed and see what happens.

The good news is that although the renting process is a bit different, there are still plenty of properties available for rent. Just bring your patience along.

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