94. Renting an Apartment (2)

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Once you find an apartment you want to rent, you need to contact the landlord, the person who owns the property. Most landlords are not individuals anymore, but rather are companies that own a number of properties. You and the landlord will set a date to view the place you are interested in renting.

On that date you can see the apartment and ask questions. Some landlords will require you to fill out an application. The application will ask questions about your job, salary, and how many people are going to live with you in the apartment. The landlord wants to make sure they have responsible tenants who will pay rent on time. Some landlords will even ask for references, the names and telephone numbers of people who can verify that you have a job and are a responsible person. Most landlords will also run a credit check. A credit check is your history of paying bills on time. If your potential landlord sees that you owe a lot of money to different companies and don't pay your bills on time, they may not want you as a tenant. If you have bad credit or an unstable work history, you may be required to get a co-signer, that is another financially responsible adult to sign the lease, a rental contract, with you. This co-signer is legally responsible for paying the rent if you stop paying.

If you cannot afford a full apartment, another option is to rent a room in someone's home. The process to rent a room is like renting an apartment except you only have a room and usually have to share the bathroom and the kitchen. Most apartments and rooms in the U.S. are unfurnished. You are expected to bring your own furniture, including a bed, a dresser, a sofa, and anything else you need.

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