Many of us are caught in limbo as we wait to buy our first home. Whether we are caught because of a bad housing market or because of a bad balance in our savings account, we are caught just the same. Torn between a mortgage and living with the parents, we decide to rent an apartment. It's not exactly ownership, but for the time being it'll do.
With no lawn to water, no walk to shovel, and a gym on the premises, there are some advantages to apartment life. However, like most things, the positives are accompanied by a handful of negatives. Many of us, with no experience to serve as a guide, learn the hard way that these negatives usually involve what your landlord won't tell you. Or, at least, what your landlord will only tell you in the subtlest means possible.
The pipes are old and your water might be a little brown: Last time I checked, rust wasn't part of the food pyramid. Still, some apartments, particularly those with very outdated buildings, have their original water pipes, making it clear that your water will be anything but. If you notice brown colored liquid pouring from your faucet, ask your landlord or leasing office about it. As their resident, you shouldn't have to drink potentially unhealthy H20.
Twenty-four hour maintenance really means "Leave a voicemail and we'll get to it in a few days": I lived in a building once where 24 hour maintenance was practically the slogan of the leasing office. They sold the idea to future residents, letting them know that if they needed anything, maintenance was only a phone call away. There was, however, one problem.
In order to contact maintenance you had to call the leasing office, an office open only from 9-5 on the weekdays and 12-5 on weekends. Having the office provide you with a direct line to maintenance wasn't, as they put it, "allowed."