You are excited to finally move out of your parent's house. But there are a few things you need to know before you sign that lease.

I had a conversation with a WT student who claimed to have a problem with the place he rented from. The problem was a big enough deal that he took the apartment owner to court to get back the money he claimed they owed him. The judge ruled in his favor. The student won the case and is set to get back just under $200. After the trial, the student said that the owner of the apartment complex allegedly told him "Good luck collecting that."

There are a lot of great landlords in the panhandle. There are however a few landlords and property managers who are not that easy to rent from.

Before you sign your first lease, here are somethings you need to know about renting your first apartment.

1.The Cost Upfront-A lot of places will make you pay a deposit. Then the first months rent. Some will make you pay the last months rent too. If you have a pet, that can be a few hundred more. There is also an application fee. So these cost can add up super quick before you even walk into your place for the first time.

2. Long-Term Cost- You will have to pay your utility bills. Electric, Gas, Water, Cable are just a few things. Some places will include things like water and sometimes cable. You have to ask about these things ahead of time so you can figure how much more you will be paying each month.

3. Read the lease very carefully- The terms of the lease may not fit your lifestyle. It may say you can't have a pet. If you are only planning to live there for 5 months, make sure you know what you have to do to get out of the lease when you ready to move out.

4. Ask as many questions as possible- If the owner or property manager is blowing over parts of the lease and hoping you will just sign it, do not sign it. If they can not give you a solid answer to a concern you have, do not sign.

5. Do your research- Google search the complex you are considering. People will be very vocal if they are living somewhere and they are not happy with the property management.

6. Ask about how fast things will get fixed- I will tell you from personal experience that years ago I rented a place where the AC never worked properly. My son was just months old. The management did not hurry to fix the AC. It took weeks before a guy finally showed up. Even then it was not running at 100 percent. Make sure to ask if the place you are renting from will fix problems when they come up and will they do it quickly.

7. Make sure to see the apartment you are actually getting. Apartment complex's will show you a model of the apartment you will get. Most of the time it has really nice decor and new furniture. Tell them you want to see the actually place you will move into. If you see it and it is not the exact way you want it to be when you move it, do not sign that lease.

Keep these tips in mind and you will find the perfect place for you. Best of luck and welcome home!


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