Renter’s Insurance 101

If you’re apartment hunting or getting ready to sign a lease, you have probably discovered that landlords require you to carry renter’s insurance and it’s usually non-negotiable. Renter’s insurance covers the contents of your apartment in the event of fire, water damage, vandalism, theft, etc., along with personal liability and medical expenses if someone is injured while in your apartment. Renter’s insurance does not cover the actual building or other parts of the property — that is the responsibility of the property management company. Just keep in mind that the insurance coverage for the overall property does not cover the personal contents of your apartment or storage unit (if you have one.) It’s also important to understand that if you have roommates, each occupant of your apartment needs a separate renters insurance policy.

Specifics of coverage will vary depending on your insurance company, your zip code, your deductible, and other factors. Renters insurance is a lot less expensive than homeowners’ insurance and you can usually get a good deal if you bundle your renter’s insurance with your auto insurance policy. There may be some restrictions or higher costs if you live in specific areas. For example, if your apartment is located in a flood plain or area that is prone to earthquakes, these incidents might be exempt from coverage or you may have to pay a lot more.

Keep in mind that filing a claim and getting reimbursed can take some time. That’s why it’s important that you keep an inventory of your belongings. Take photos or make a video on your phone to document what you own and make sure to keep your receipts or other documentation of what you paid for your belongings. That will make it much easier to prove what you lost when filing a claim.

While renters insurance may seem like a hassle or something that “you’ll never need,” don’t fool yourself. Anything can happen. As well, it will make it much easier for you to rent an apartment, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if the unexpected occurs.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we are committed to providing apartment communities that you’ll be proud of. If you are looking for a new adventure, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

How to Not Lose Your Deposit When You Move

Probably the biggest concern of renters when moving out of an apartment is if they will get their security deposit back. You pay your security deposit when you move in and the amount is typically the first (and last) month’s rent, along with any other charges, such as an application fee, credit check, and extra deposit if you have a pet. The purpose of the deposit is to hold the money in case it needs to be used to make any repairs to the unit after a tenant has vacated.

Getting your security deposit back shouldn’t be an issue if you follow the language in your lease and have done your best to be a responsible tenant and keep the apartment in good shape while you lived there. However, some landlords can be extremely picky or downright dishonest and explore every angle to avoid returning your security deposit.

Here are some tips to increase the odds that you’ll be paid back:

  1. Read the terms of your lease. Your lease should spell out the expectations for moving out, including giving notice, cleaning, returning keys, etc. Follow them to the letter.
  2. Clean. Clean. Clean. That means everything, including the nooks and crannies of appliances and the bathrooms. If you need to, patch any holes in the walls from hanging pictures. Don’t assume that the maintenance crew will fix these when renovating the apartment. Little oversights can ding your deposit.
  3. Refer to your copy of your move-in checklist. If your property manager used a checklist when you moved in, you should have a copy of it. Use this as your punch list when cleaning and doing minor repairs. Normal wear and tear is expected and doesn’t count against your deposit. However, major damage, especially from pets, will cost you. If possible, accompany the apartment manager when they do the final walk-through.
  4. Remove EVERYTHING. If you aren’t taking something with you to your next apartment, dispose of it. Sell it, donate it, re-gift it, or throw it away. What you do NOT want to do is overload all the dumpsters in the complex on moving day. Not only will you piss off other residents but you can expect the landlord to deduct the cost of large-item disposal from your security deposit.

When you return your keys, make sure to leave your forwarding address with your landlord, so they can mail back your security deposit. When you leave, assume positive intent that you will get your money back. However, if there are issues with the property management company and they string you along or refuse to return your deposit. make sure you have all of your documentation and consult an attorney. You can attempt to recoup your deposit through small claims court.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

Put your security deposit to use on a new Vision Community apartment. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Pros and Cons of Virtual Leasing

During the height of the pandemic, it was challenging for both renters and landlords to lease new apartments. Lockdowns, quarantines, and other deterrents prevented the typical apartment tour, so property managers had to get creative. Thus, virtual leasing was born. With virtual leasing, prospective tenants can see an apartment online to get a feel if it would be a good fit or not. To streamline the process even further, many property management companies across the country also adopted online leasing applications.

While virtual leasing definitely solved the problem of not blindly renting an apartment, it offers other advantages, such as saving time, but it is also not without its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of virtual leasing.

Pros

Saving time. Now you can curl up on the sofa in your PJs at any time and tour apartments in any neighborhood you choose. No more having to drive around and search for locations or make appointments for a showing.

Getting the complete picture. Instead of static photos, virtual tours are often 360. You get a panoramic view of the apartment, the grounds, and amenities such as a pool and clubhouse. But what you won’t see in most virtual tours are the less-attractive aspects of the property, such as the parking lot, dumpsters/trash disposal area, and mailboxes.

Look anywhere you like. With a virtual tour, you can explore other areas of town or even apartments in different states entirely. This is particularly useful if you received an out-of-town job offer or simply need a change of scenery. The online search can significantly narrow your options before you schedule an in-person trip.

Cons

Not seeing the finer details. Most photos and videos used in virtual tours are of a brand-new unit that’s move-in ready or staged. The goal is to entice you to sign a lease ASAP. What you won’t see are details such as the condition of the doors, locks, and windows, and building security. You also don’t see a complete picture of the property.

Not seeing the neighborhood. Unless you are familiar with the area you want to move to, virtual tours are pretty limited about the area outside the apartment complex. For example, is there a parking lot for residents or is it going to be a constant headache to find on-street parking? How safe is the neighborhood? What types of stores are close by?

Not meeting the apartment manager. Anybody can be charming over the phone or via chat. With virtual leasing, you don’t get to meet the property manager face to face. That may not necessarily always be a bad thing but being able to put a face with a name is more beneficial over the long term. Most humans still prefer the personal touch.

If you are looking for a new apartment, virtual leasing is a good starting point. You can find some options then schedule an appointment for an in-person tour now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted. It’s better to see the place in person as you don’t want to get locked into an online lease — sight unseen — and be stuck in an apartment or location you hate. Combine the pros of virtual leasing with on-site visits to find your perfect new home.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Tips for Moving to a New Apartment

If you’ve been living in your apartment community for a while, you might decide it’s time for a change. Maybe one of your roommates is moving out or you’ve discovered that that coveted apartment with the view of the pool is about to become available. Or it could be that you’ve accepted a job out of town. In any case, it’s time to move. Whether you’re moving across the hall or across the country, moving is moving. Here are some pointers to ponder as you get ready to move into your next apartment.

  1. Contact the landlord. Whether you’re giving notice to vacate the entire apartment community or want to move into a different unit at the same location, give the notice as outlined in your lease. If you have your eye on another apartment in the complex, ask about getting on a waiting list.
  2. Transfer the utilities. Even if you’re just moving next door, you must alert your utility providers so they can switch your account over to your new address. If you’re just changing units within the same complex, you probably won’t need to pay a deposit. It’s another story if you are moving to a different state and you will have to pay deposits. If you have an apartment rented in your new city, ask your future leasing manager for guidance.
  3. Change of address. It’s the same concept. You will need to submit a change of address form to the post office. Even if you conduct all of your business online, there are still documents like voter registration/ID cards and driver’s licenses that are dispatched via snail mail. Don’t overlook this step.
  4. Insurance. Regardless of where you’re relocating to, you’ll need to notify your insurance agent of the change for both your auto and renter’s coverage. If you’re going out of state, you can usually stick with the same insurance company if it’s a major national carrier.
  5. Plan your move. If you’re doing an intra-complex relocation, ask the property manager if you can start moving your stuff early. That will save a lot of time. Get creative and use items like laundry baskets to transport your belongings. Hang your clothes inside of a trash bag (think dry cleaners) and they will be ready to immediately hang up in your new closets. You can also move room by room to keep things organized and minimize packing.
  6. Get help moving the heavy stuff. You can probably get by with using family and friends to do a short move, otherwise, you’ll need to hire a moving company. If you’re making a long-distance move, you’ll need movers that transport throughout the U.S. Make sure you get a bid that covers all expenses. For yourself, you’ll need gas, lodging, and food. If you’re moving with a pet, you’ll need to find places to stay that will allow them.
  7. Other considerations for an out-of-state move:
  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license/Vehicle Registration
  • Medical/dental/veterinary records
  • Transferring prescriptions

“Moving is fun,” said nobody ever. But, if you’re organized and proactive, you can lessen the pain points of moving. It can be a great opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer need or use (sell, discard or donate), and having a fresh, new apartment is always exciting, even if it’s just in the next building. Your cross-country move is an adventure and in either scenario, it’s the prologue to a new chapter in your life.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit

Life happens. Many potential tenants are in a situation where they are trying to rent an apartment but have bad credit. The pandemic has been a major source of financial hardship for plenty of well-meaning renters who are still trying to dig their way out of the aftermath. Maybe you lost your job or had your hours cut. Perhaps you lost your health insurance and have major medical debt or incurred unexpected massive car repair expenses. Or you just got way out of hand with pandemic-boredom online shopping. To add insult to injury, most property management companies will charge you to perform a credit check before you are even considered for an application. Why pay good money (around $50) just to get rejected? Regardless of the reason why it happened, bad credit can stand in the way of renting an apartment, or can it? Here are some strategies to help you get approved, even if your credit score stinks.

  1. Check your credit score. This initial step can be scary, but it’s important. You can get a free credit report that lists your TransUnion and Equifax (the two major credit reporting agencies) scores. Check the report carefully for any errors. If you find any, contact TransUnion and Equifax to get them resolved. What you can then do is get a letter from these agencies that explains the error and correction to your score.
  2. Find an apartment with no credit check. These opportunities are few and far between. However, if you are renting from an individual instead of a corporation, you might stand a better chance of being accepted as a tenant.
  3. Gather references and proof of income. Get a letter from your workplace verifying your employment. Back this up with copies of pay stubs and bank statements. If you successfully rented an apartment in the past, get a reference letter from your former landlord(s).
  4. Offer to pay more upfront. If the property manager is willing to negotiate, offer to pay a higher security deposit than what is required and/or pay several months’ rent in advance.

Explain your situation to the apartment manager, if your reasons for having bad credit make sense and you are demonstrating a good-faith effort to pay down your debt, you will have a much better chance of being approved. Landlords are human, but they are also business people, but in today’s economy and facing a lot of empty units, they may be more willing to take a chance on a higher-risk tenant. Once you’ve been approved, make sure you pay your rent on time, while at the same time, continuing to pay down your debt. As you work towards improving your track record and credit score as a responsible tenant and debtor, more doors will (literally) open to you in the future!

Get a fresh start at a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space  Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Find out about your rights as a tenant in the state of Ohio on the Vision Communities blog.

Tenants’ Rights in Ohio

If you are getting ready to rent an apartment in Central Ohio, congratulations! There are many fun and functional communities to choose from that will suit any lifestyle. However, before you sign that lease and start packing, there are a few things you need to know that will pave the way for a congenial tenant-landlord relationship. The following are the highlights of tenant-landlord rights and obligations in the state of Ohio, from the American Association of Apartment Owners and the Ohio State Bar Association.

  1. Security deposits

This is probably the biggest point of contention between tenants and landlords. In Ohio, a landlord has the right to request a security deposit to hold the apartment until you are ready to move in. It is your obligation as a tenant to pay the security deposit. It is the landlord’s obligation to repay your security deposit after you move out. The landlord has the right to withhold any portion of all of your security deposit to compensate any damages incurred to the unit beyond “normal wear and tear” or to apply to any unpaid rent. When you give your notice to vacate, you must provide your landlord with a mailing address to return your deposit to. The landlord must return any or all of your security deposit within 30 days. If any amount was withheld for damages, you must receive an itemized statement of deductions.

  1. General tenants’ rights

Tenants are required to pay their rent on time and keep their apartments clean and sanitary. You must not also damage the property or allow your guests to damage or deface the property. In addition, you (and your guests) should conduct yourselves in a manner that will not create a disturbance or be disruptive to other residents in the building. Some examples include excessive noise, loud music or TV, using illicit drugs, etc. You must also give proper notice (usually 30 days) when you plan to move out.

  1. General landlords’ rights

Landlords are required to keep the property in good working condition and safe and sanitary. They must also supply basic needs such as running water, electricity, trash removal, etc., Landlords are also expected to keep all appliances and fixtures in good working order and make any requested repairs in a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable” is subjective, depending on the circumstances, but general estimation is within 30 days. Some leases allow tenants to pay for their own repairs and deduct the costs from their rent.

  1. Entering the premises

This is another hot-button topic with tenants and landlords. Landlords must give tenants 24 hours’ notice if they plan to enter your apartment and do so during appropriate times of the day. As a tenant, you must comply with these requests. If a landlord enters your apartment without proper notice, you may have a legal right to recover damages.

  1. Rent increases and Evictions

Landlords have the right to increase rent by any amount to any tenant(s) on a month-to-month lease..However, they must give tenants 30 days’ notice. A tenant can be evicted for reasons such as non-payment of rent or violating the terms of your lease. Evictions are complicated and beyond the scope of this post. In the case of a pending eviction, you would be best served to consult with an attorney. However, a landlord cannot evict you or increase your rent for retaliatory reasons, such as reporting health and safety violations to city agencies.

At Vision Communities, our goal is to provide the best living experience for our tenants and the reviews that we’ve received from current and past tenants demonstrate our commitment to you. If you are looking for a new apartment and want to experience luxury apartment living, check out our Vision Communities and learn what it means to Live the VC. 

 

Apartment Hunting with a List

Choosing the Right Apartment Location

How to Choose a Community that Fits Your Needs

Looking for an apartment is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming as there are so many decisions to make. After you’ve established your rental budget, the next box to check is the location. While the first inclination usually is to find a place close to your job, take a step back and reassess. With so many people now working permanently from home, there are other factors to consider when choosing where to live. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, especially as you will most likely be stuck there for at least a year before you can more.

  • Shopping

As we’ve learned during the pandemic, grocery delivery is expensive, so at the very least, make sure there is a neighborhood grocery store or market. Think about other businesses you patronize regularly, such as a drug store, hardware store, UPS/FedEx, gas stations, your doctors and dentist, pet supplies, and a big box store. It’s not until you find yourself suddenly needing a particular store and having to drive to the next county, that you facepalm and realize your new neighborhood might not be so convenient after all. If you need to be near clothing stores, shoe stores, or a mall, then factor that into your location decision.

  • Family

If you are from a close-knit family, then you might want to live close to them (or the opposite!) Perhaps if you like to visit your family frequently or rely on them for support, it makes sense to live nearby. Aging parents can also be a concern, so talk to them to figure out mutually agreed-upon needs and expectations and plan accordingly.

  • Friends

Just like with family, maybe you want to live close to your friends. There is no sense living close to your job if you work a lot from home and have to drive a long distance to get together with your friends during the evenings and weekends. As a bonus, if your friends live in a specific area, then they have done all of the legwork and you can just find an apartment and move.

  • Amenities

An apartment community’s amenities can influence whether you decide to live there or not. If there are washer and dryer hookups or on-site laundry, that would eliminate the need to live close to a laundromat. If you have a dog and the apartment has a dog park, then you don’t need to live near a park or other areas where you can take your dog to walk and play. The same goes if you like to swim or work out. If you can at home, then strike those needs off your list.

  • Kids

If you have kids, safety of the neighborhood and apartment community will be paramount. You’ll want to choose an apartment that’s in your preferred school district. After that, you’ll want an area where there are recreational and social activities for the kids, such as a park or playground, or library. It will also be helpful to be close to basic stores like a grocery store and pharmacy.

  • Crime rate

If you are interested in a particular area, do some research on the crime rate; most municipalities keep a crime stats database you can access online. If a higher-than-average percentage of occurrences in the neighborhood don’t deter you, then pay close attention to the security of the apartment community you want to move to.

  • Parking and Commuting

These are important but often overlooked factors. Many apartment communities have their own parking lots. However, lack of assigned parking can be a huge issue and a headache for both residents and management. If you don’t mind parking anywhere, then no problem. You also don’t want to be in that situation where your charming rehabbed apartment in a dicey neighborhood only has parking several blocks away. If you don’t work at home or live close to your job, then you’ll need to have a plan (and some “plans B-Z”) on how to get to work which should entail alternate routes and public transportation.

If you are still convinced that you must live close to your job, these points still make sense. Your goal is to find the best apartment in the most suitable location so that you can enjoy living your life in your new digs and not stressing over logistics.

At Vision Communities, we welcome you to explore our communities, floor plans and amenities to find the right fit for you and your family. Our facilities are top-notch and based on some of our resident reviews, we think you’ll love the atmosphere, amenities, and our property management staff, all designed to give you a place you are proud to call home. There are so many amenities and things to do in and around our Central Ohio communities

Schedule an appointment to check out our spacious floor plans, and our friendly property management staff will be happy to show you around. 

 

Questions to ask before renting an apartment

What to Know Before Renting an Apartment

Important questions to ask when renting an apartment

If you have recently graduated and are ready to start a new job and get your own place, now is a great time to be looking at apartments. The same can be said if you want to buy a house or have sold your home and are waiting to move into a new one. Currently, it’s a seller’s market in the housing industry and mortgage rates are predicted to increase, so if home ownership is your goal, it might be best to wait it out.  An apartment offers many amenities that you won’t find in a house, like a swimming pool or fully equipped fitness center. And if you’re new to the area, apartment living is a great way to meet people and get acclimated to your new community.

One of the benefits of living in an apartment is that you aren’t locked into a long-term mortgage. Most leases renew annually and some property management companies offer month-to-month leases. You will be required to put down a security deposit, which will vary by property, and it should be returned to you when you moved out, provided that the apartment didn’t incur any major damage while you were living there. There may also be a pet deposit and if you are just starting out, you may need to pay deposits in order to establish utilities in your name.

Here are seven important questions to ask when renting an apartment:

  1. How much is the security deposit? Most apartment deposits amount to one month’s rent and you may also be asked to pay an application fee. Make sure you understand that upfront and be sure to get clarification on how you get your deposit returned when you move out.
  2. Is there a pet deposit? Many apartments now require pet deposits and some also charge a small monthly rental fee for the pet. The deposit and monthly rent are usually based on the weight of the animal, and most communities have restrictions on how many pets a resident can own. Some cities and apartment communities also have breed restrictions, so be sure that your pet is on the approved list.
  3. What are the terms of the lease? You want to be very clear on this one because it is expensive to break a lease. Are you bound to one year or can you go month-to-month? How much notice are you required to give if you intend to move out?
  4. What utilities are covered in the rent? In some communities, your rent also includes water and trash removal. Be certain to check as you don’t want to be surprised by unexpected utility bills. As an incentive, some properties offer free internet/cable services like Google Fiber. If that is the case, make sure to find out how and when the rates increase, how soon you will be notified, and if you have the option to decline this service.
  5. How are maintenance requests handled? This is important to know in advance so you will not have unrealistic expectations. Find out if there is a dedicated maintenance staff for your property and when they are available. Also, ask if there is after-hours emergency maintenance and what constitutes an “emergency.” Do residents submit maintenance requests online or do they need to call their property manager? Some properties allow residents to perform simple DIY repairs themselves and deduct the cost of any supplies from their rent.
  6. Do residents have dedicated parking spaces? This can be a huge headache for apartment residents — where to park. Are there reserved parking spots or is it a free-for-all? Some complexes charge more for reserved parking spots or carports. In addition, find out where guests are supposed to park. Guests parking in residents’ “usual” spots can get ugly quickly.
  7. What is security like? Every property is different. Some have locked outside security doors, while others have passcodes or gates at the entrance to the complex. High-rise apartments might have a concierge or on-site security guards. Check all of the windows and doors to make sure they close and lock properly. In addition, check for working smoke/CO monitors in the unit and for fire extinguishers in the hallways.

These are some tips to get you started on your apartment search. Your main goal in finding a new place to live is that it is safe, comfortable and fits your lifestyle. By gathering basic information upfront, you will understand your obligations as a resident and the responsibilities of the property management company, so your apartment life will be harmonious and stress-free.

At Vision Communities, we welcome you to explore our floor plans and find the right one for you and your furry friend. Our facilities are top-notch and based on some of our resident reviews, we think you’ll love the atmosphere, amenities, and our property management staff, all designed to give you a place you are proud to call home. There are so many amenities and things to do in and around our Central Ohio communities

Schedule an appointment to check out our spacious floor plans, and our friendly property management staff will be happy to show you around. 

Learn how to find a new apartment safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apartment Hunting During the Pandemic

New year … new season … maybe you are itching to move to a new apartment. The idea of relocating to new digs or to a new part of the city or country sounds exciting, but realistically, how are you going to manage it during a pandemic? Gone are the days when you could just drive around and drop in at the leasing offices of properties that look tempting — at least for the time being. There are ways that you can rent a new apartment without even leaving your home, but it can be challenging.  Keep reading to figure out the best way to find a new home and stay safe during the COVID crisis.

Examine your motives. Why have you decided to move? If you have to relocate because of a new job, then done deal. However, if you are just bored or have pandemic cabin fever, it might be better to wait a bit longer.  If your lease is about to expire, but you are still determined to move, ask your current landlord if a month-to-month lease is an option until it is a safer time for you to relocate. Honestly, they would probably prefer that you stick around for a little longer as opposed to all of the exposure risk associated with bringing in a new resident.

Research. Downtime at home is a great opportunity to perform your due diligence. Take a close look at the neighborhood(s) you are considering. Sure, you can drive by or look via Google maps, but what you need is a comprehensive picture of the area. Many neighborhoods have dedicated Facebook groups or have space on a site like nextdoor.com. These resources really help you drill down into the community and learn about recreation and entertainment, neighborhood groups, traffic conditions, and the crime rate. If you are relocating because of your job, your new company’s HR should be able to put you in touch with a local realtor or leasing agent. If you already know some of your new colleagues, ask them for recommendations.

Virtual tours. Pandemic restrictions will vary by location, which will restrict which properties can offer in-person apartment tours. Most property management companies have virtual tours, so you can view different floorplans online; some companies take this a step further by having 3-D tours where a leasing agent will conduct a more in-depth online walk-through with you. This is a really helpful option if you are in a situation where you will be renting sight unseen.

In-person tours. Common sense prevails here. Wear a mask and maintain social distance. Carry hand sanitizer as you will be touching doorknobs, light switches, etc.  While you are on the property, it is a good opportunity to observe how other residents are reacting to the pandemic. Are people in common areas wearing masks? You get the idea.

The move itself. Moving companies are considered “essential businesses” so they should be available during the pandemic and will have employee and customer safety protocols in place. (If not, swipe left!) If you can, try to move as much of your stuff as you can yourself. While the movers are there, wear your mask and try to stay out of their way as much as possible. They will appreciate not having you underfoot while they do their job, and it will be much faster

While moving to a new apartment during the pandemic isn’t impossible, COVID has definitely added a layer of complication to the process. If you can stand to stay put for a while longer, then do so. However, if you are determined to move, no matter what, the priority needs to be keeping yourself and those you interact with during the process, safe.

Vision Communities is committed to providing a safe environment for all of our community residents. If you are looking for a new 1-bedroom, 2- bedroom, or 3-bedroom apartment, check out one of our Central Ohio communities to learn more. If you have concerns about doing a tour in person, many of our communities feature virtual walkthroughs of our floorplans. 

Packing up your apartment

Tips for Moving Out of Your Apartment

The beauty of living in an apartment is that it is temporary. You can really move more easily than if you home a home, which comes with a mortgage and requires the sale of your house.  When it is time to move on, whether to your first house or upgrading to a new apartment community, there are some things you need to consider. While most renters’ primary concern is getting their security deposit back, they overlook small, but crucial details in the process.

Here are some tips to ensure that your relocation is as smooth as possible.

  1. Give notice. This is the most important step. Review your lease to see how much notice you need to give your apartment manager. The rule of thumb is that residents usually have to give 30 days’ notice, however, this can vary, depending on the terms of your lease. Failure to give adequate notice could result in financial penalties, such as owing the next month’s rent after you move out.

  2. Transfer your utilities. Make sure you close out your account at your apartment and transfer all utilities to your future address. Usually, this is as simple as placing a few phone calls or making the switch online. If you live in an all utilities paid complex, it might be a little more complicated as you may have to open all new accounts in your name at your new residence.

  3. Clean up the place. While it is tempting to just pack up and go, you need to leave your apartment in as close to move-in condition as possible. Even though you know that the unit will be rehabbed before new residents move in, leaving the place a mess can cost you. You might have penalties deducted from your security deposit. Additionally, this can earn you a negative reference from your landlord in the event you need to rent a new place in the future. Splurge on a professional cleaning service if you don’t have time or want to do it yourself.

  4. Change your address. You can do this online at the USPS website and provide updated address information where you mail will be forwarded and where you will receive your new mail. A lot of times, this step gets overlooked and it can be problematic in the long term as the Post Office only forwards mail for 12 months and periodicals for 60 days. If you still receive bills by mail, they could show up late or not at all, which brings on a host of new problems.

  5. Get your security deposit back. This is the time to review your lease one more time to make sure you fulfilled all the conditions to receive all or a portion of your security deposit back. What usually happens is that once your have vacated your apartment, the apartment manager will conduct an inspection of the unit. They should compare it to the punch list from when you moved in, to make sure there is no new damage. Your deposit will be mailed back to you once the inspection has been completed and you will also receive a letter noting any deductions for damages. So, don’t forget to leave your forwarding address with your (former) apartment manager.



Moving also is a great opportunity to donate. As you are packing, separate clothes, shoes, outerwear and any household items you are no longer using and donate them to a local charity. Many places will even come and pick your stuff up. Likewise, when you are packing up the kitchen, any unused canned goods can go to a food bank; many grocery stores have drop-off barrels for non-perishable goods.

While moving can be a hassle, once the process is over, you can settle to your new apartment and turn it into your home. If you are thinking about changing apartments, we would invite you to check out Vision Communities. We have apartment communities through out the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area with floorplans for studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Our communities offer first-class amenities and are conveniently located for an easy commute for work or play. Contact our office to schedule a tour and to inquire about floorplan availability.