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4 Warning Signs to Avoid When Looking for Apartment

3 minute read

Looking for an apartment can be a stressful time in someone’s life. After all, you’re deciding where you’re going to be living for the foreseeable future. And you’re likely to worry that you’ll forget to check the one aspect of an apartment that’ll turn into a headache down the road. 

Thankfully, you’re more likely than not to find a place that you’ll love living in. But if you want to make sure your apartment search has a happy ending, we’d recommend you watch out for these warning signs.  

Peeling/Chipped Paint

Now, an apartment’s paint can peel for a variety of reasons, and an apartment with that particular issue is not necessarily a bad place to live. That said, if you see peeling or chipped paint while looking at an apartment, it’s definitely a bad sign. 

At best it means the landlord or property manager isn’t particularly attentive. At worst, it means that your potential future landlord or property manager isn’t particularly attentive, and there’s some issue with the unit that you’ll be forced to deal with. If you noticed peeling or chipped paint, just take it as a sign that, maybe, this isn’t the place for you. 

Unclean Common Areas

Just because an apartment is a mess doesn’t mean that it’ll be that way when you move in (though here are some tips on how to declutter your place if that’s an issue you tend to have). After all, just because the management of the building let a messy tenant reside in their building doesn’t mean that it’s not a nice place to live.  

However, the management of the building does have a say in how the common areas are. If hallways, doorways, or staircases seem unclean or even straight up filthy, that’s a sign that the building isn’t being properly taken care of. So make sure to keep an eye on those area as you pass through. 

Broken Appliances

Checking the appliances in a unit is one of the most important first steps when looking at a place that could potentially become your home. Does the heat work properly (assuming you’re looking in the winter)? How about the stove? Does the shower work, with decent pressure? Any appliance that you’ll need to use should be working, naturally, and obviously you’ll not want to live anywhere with something broken. 

Now, if you find a perfect place with a major appliance temporarily out of commission, you’ll likely be promised something along the lines of, “It’ll be fixed by the time you move in.” If you really want to live there, don’t let the broken appliance stop you, but we’d recommend getting those repairs in writing, on your lease. 

You’re Shown a “Similar Unit?

Here’s one of the biggest red flags we can think of. If you go to see an apartment and are told it is “unavailable” but they can show you a “similar unit” you should hightail it out of there. You need to be able to see where you’ll be living before you can commit to it, and some renters have been known to employ some shady tactics in this area.  

So make sure you see your unit before you decide to pay for your unit. And of course, watch out for any of the other previous tips when you find yourself looking for a new home. 

Demetrios Salpoglou

Demetrios Salpoglou

Published February 4, 2020

Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of which is an information and technology based services company that provides cutting edge resources to real estate companies. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 120 agents.

Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.