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As you prepare to begin your first apartment hunting expedition, you will find it immensely helpful to go armed with knowledge of what to expect at each stage of the process. This way, you are not caught off-guard by any unexpected fees (such as applications fees) or common enough if unanticipated-by-you rental clauses. For first-time renters, this is definitely a time of learning. One can make great strides by reading up on on typical rental scenarios and browsing through ratings and reviews issued by past tenants of a particular establishment. Knowing what to expect concerning security deposit will benefit you greatly.

Because you will naturally want to compare the available properties in, and perhaps surrounding, your hometown to ascertain that you get the best deal, you should know specifically what points to compare. There are the more obvious points of comparison, such monthly rent price, whether you will automatically inherent a set of roommates, whether you can evict roommates, whether pets are allowed, etc. Then there are factors such as the security deposit that are not known up front because they don't come into play until a second stage of your apartment hunting process.

Factors of a Security Deposit

There are a few factors that calculate into the security deposit you will pay. Feel free to ask about this deposit if your potential landlord does not mention it when you meet with him or her for the first time. Most of the time, landlords are very open and straightforward about this figure; they will happily delineate for you what factors they consider to be important. For some, the process of determining a specific amount is automated and based on the background and credit information they process with your initial application. A general rule of thumb is, the better your credit history and score, the better your chances of moving without paying a high security deposit.

When you understand specifically what is protected by a security deposit, you will probably also come to understand your landlord's purpose in looking carefully at certain elements. Because you will reside in, keep your possessions in, and invite your guests into a property that is owned by someone other than you, your landlord incurs a certain level of risk by having you as a tenant. Even proven reliable tenants constitute some risk, and this is why a security deposit of some amount is required of nearly all renters. Just as having a favorable credit report helps establish you as a reliable person who is unlikely to effect damage to the property you rent, having solid references from past landlords will also help substantially.

Cost Considerations

One way in which you may possibly be able to save on the total of your security deposit actually involves your lease application fee. When you have decide that you like a certain property enough to apply, you will most likely required to pay a fee ranging from twenty-five to sixty-five dollars. This is a legitimate fee that offsets your landlord's expense when it comes to processing this information. Though it is justifiable, the application fee can become significant when you apply in several places. You can consider asking if this fee can be applied toward your security deposit should you decide to rent there.

Asking about a security deposit entails more than asking how much you would have to pay before moving in. Security deposits are also relevant when it comes time to move out of your apartment following the end of a lease. Ask for details of your landlord's policy for returning the security deposit when no major damage is detected.

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