How to Rent an Apartment in Pittsburgh Without Getting Scammed

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The number of people who rent apartments instead of buying has been increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, this led to an increase in the number of scams as well. If you don’t want to be tricked by conmen when trying to rent an apartment in Pittsburgh, you will need to take some precautions and learn what exactly constitutes as “safe” in this business.

But first of all, you need to decide what kind of apartment you want to rent. Statistically, one-bedroom units are the most popular type of rental, but studios are cheaper and two-bedrooms are significantly more expensive. Although, the rent for 2-bedroom units doesn’t undergo such drastic changes from year to year as 1-bedroom prices. But ultimately, your budget will determine what kind of apartment you can afford. Once you are done with that, you are ready to begin the actual search.

Do Some Preliminary Research

The first thing you should do is to study the data on 1 bedroom apartments in Pittsburgh. This will give you some idea of what exactly you should expect in terms of prices and conditions. Focus on general information from the parts of the city you are interested in as rent might differ quite a bit depending on the location.

This is also the time to do some research in common rental scams so you know exactly what to look out for. Never forget that renting an apartment is serious business and if anything at all seems shady or too “simple”, you should be on high alert.

Visit the Apartment You Are Going to Rent

The landlord or property management company working on their behalf must allow you to visit and inspect the property personally before you sign the lease. If they don’t you should move on to the next property because this is definitely something shady.

While there, make sure that the place matches the pictures on the website. In case it doesn’t you should wonder why exactly? Is the landlord simply late updating the pictures or is there something nefarious going on? Even if the place looks well enough in life, any unexplained discrepancies from the listing are worrying.

If you are in the process of moving to Pittsburgh and can’t make it to the Open House day set by the landlord, ask one of your friends or even future colleagues to do it. This is a step you must never miss when looking for an apartment to rent.

Study the Written Lease Agreement Thoroughly

While verbal lease agreements are technically legal, they hardly have any actual power and put the tenant is a very bad position. Therefore, it’s imperative that the landlord provide you with a written lease. If they don’t, leave right away.

When you do get your hands on the lease agreement, be sure to study this document from top to bottom. If necessary, seek clarifications from a legal expert or look up additional information online.

The terms of your lease must be clear and reasonable. They also must comply with the regulations in your state, such as the minimum warning one has to give if they are to terminate the contract, etc. You will need to know your rights as a tenant before you start reading this document. This way, you’ll be able to understand whether it’s something you can trust.

In Conclusion

Renting an apartment in Pittsburgh is a challenge because the demand is high as the city is growing. However, you must never rush into this deal without double-checking everything. This is the only reliable way to avoid problems and reduce your risk of being scammed.

This means that the sooner you start researching the sate of the market and local laws pertaining to rentals, the better. This will allow you to be prepared when the time comes for you to start visiting prospective apartments.