Springin’ In The Rental Season

For Rent sign in front of a house.

copyright Mark Moz-flickr

Spring is in the air!  It may not be official until the 20th, but we’re feeling the warm weather and sunshine in Philly.  If you’re looking to enjoy all the perks of spring in Philadelphia now is the prime time to scout your new home!

The peak rental season for most cities are the spring months.  Most Colleges and Universities’ spring semester ends around April/May.  With schools dismissing for summer, students begin to pack up and move out of their off campus apartments.  Since Philadelphia has students living all over the city, summer break and graduation bring a citywide vacancy to rentals. Similar to our post on the best times to buy or sell a property, there are benefits and disadvantages to apartment hunting in the spring.

The Perks:

With spring comes late evening hours and overall better weather that makes touring properties one after the other a much easier experience compared to the winter.  The inventory available for renters sky rockets providing potential occupants the pick of the litter when it comes to getting the type of apartment they want.

So, What’s the Catch?

If you’re looking for an apartment this spring, you’re one of many – so you have some hefty competition when you find the perfect place.  Some units can be shown several times a day back to back.  So even if you submit an application right after the showing, someone else could have beat you to it or is a better candidate (i.e. higher credit, no pets, etc.).  So don’t get too attached until you get the approval from the landlord.

Speaking of landlords.  With the high demand for rentals, landlords have carte blanche when it comes to rent price and terms.  So if you are looking for a rental on a budget, you may want to move your search to off-season like the winter months.  There may not be as many options but the rent will be cheaper and you’ll have more flexibility to negotiate terms.

Advice:

Whether you are searching now or deciding to wait until off season, we recommend the following to get your dream home:

  • Ask for an application ahead of time and complete before the showing along with the application fee. This way, if you like the unit or house you can submit the application right away and secure your place in line.
  • Bring references. This is usually part of the application, but just in case provide the showing agent with past landlord references.  Being prepared with these references will give the owner more security that you are a reliable tenant.
  • Take photos. When you go to the showing, make sure to snap several photos.  This will help with making a decision down the line and eventually when it comes time to move in.  Note any needed repairs or hazards and take photos.  This way you can provide documentation to the landlord to fix said issues prior to move in.
  • Ask Questions: Before signing a lease or submitting an application and application fee, make sure you completely understand the terms and requirements to rent. Are utilities included?  Is there a pet deposit?  Who pays for extermination if needed?  Your dream apartment can be an expensive nightmare if all costs fall on the tenant.

Ready to Start?

Contact our team today.  We can help you find an apartment that best fits your needs.  Want to browse first?  Head to our listings page to see what we currently have on the market, or search properties to see what others are listing.