Moving apartments can be stressful. However, there are many different ways to prepare for the search for a new apartment. Reading apartment reviews is a helpful first step, as quality apartment reviews tell you not only what any given apartment has to offer, but also what past and current tenants think of the apartment. Reviews even help you narrow down which apartments you should go visit in person by eliminating locations that are unsuitable. When looking through apartment reviews, there are some things to consider. Above all, you should know what you need from an apartment, and what you should expect from a property.
What Do You Need?
Before reading apartment reviews or browsing a new apartment’s website, it can help to make a checklist of all the things you will need in your new home. Your apartment might need to have amenities such as:
- A disability-friendly location.
- Nearby disability-friendly transportation.
- Disabled access, such as an elevator or ramp, to your apartment.
- A landlord and lease that will allow you to make any necessary modifications to the apartment.
- Sufficiently wide doors.
- A roll-in or walk-in shower.
- A handicap parking permit and parking space.
What Are Your Rights?
When looking for a new apartment, it is extremely helpful to know your rights when it comes to handicap-accessible living. Leasing with a landlord or property manager becomes easier once you know what accommodations an apartment is obligated to give you. To learn more about any specific needs, you can review the ADA guidelines homepage, which provides information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development website, which includes details about Fair Housing Laws. Landlords are never allowed to:
- Refuse outright to rent to you.
- Deliberately make housing unavailable.
- Falsely claim that an apartment is unavailable to rent.
- Refuse to negotiate terms of your rental agreement with you.
- Set different or unfair terms or privileges for rental of an apartment.
Keep your needs and your rights in mind as you search and read apartment reviews, and you will be able to make an informed decision about your new home and liaise effectively with your leasing office.