Be prepared when you meet with the leasing agent, property manager or owner. Bring a list of what you are looking for in a rental; it is important to be clear about your needs and to get all of your questions answered. You will also need to provide information and verification about your job, your income and your past rental history. Dress to make a good impression and treat the meeting like a job interview — be polite and arrive on time.
Before you sign a lease, inspect the apartment with the landlord. Look for the following problems:
- Cracks, holes or damage in the floor, walls or ceiling.
- Signs of leaking water, leaky fixtures or water damage.
- Any signs of mold or pests.
- Lack of hot water.
- Inadequate heating or air conditioning.
Use a written checklist with the landlord to document the condition of the rental before you move in, and keep a copy of the completed checklist to use when you move out.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs maintains a website, www.GeorgiaHousingSearch.org, that can be helpful for those trying to locate housing, or you can call them at 877-428-8844. The Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook can be downloaded at www.dca.ga.gov/safe-affordable-housing/rental-housing-assistance/rental-assistance-housing-choice-voucher/georgia.