Finding the Perfect Place

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, you can begin to look at apartments and houses to find one to fit your needs. There are many things to consider when looking at a potential property. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your potential landlord! If they are doing their job right, they will be more than happy to give you the information you’re looking for.

Important questions to ask when you are talking to a landlord:

  • Ask to see the specific unit you are interested in.
  • What, if any, utilities are covered?
  • What is the pet policy?
  • Is there a pet deposit?
  • Do cats have to be de-clawed?
  • How much is the security deposit?
  • Does it include first and last month’s rent?
  • What is required to get it back?
  • Is there a limit to how many people can live here?
  • Can I sublet?
  • How do you report maintenance issues?
  • Who is responsible for lawn maintenance and snow removal?

All Kalamazoo rental properties must be registered and certified with the City of Kalamazoo – make sure your potential landlord has a Certificate of Compliance from the city! Find out if a Landlord is registered. City of Kalamazoo Rental Registry.

Things to look for when looking at a potential property:

  • Is there adequate lighting inside and outside the house?
  • Are there deadbolts or secure locks on all doors and windows?
  • Are there any signs of chronic maintenance problems like mold, pests, or leaks?

If you can, talk to a previous tenant of the house or apartment complex. Ask them questions like:

  • Did the landlord provide timely maintenance?
  • Did they have a good experience?
  • Do they feel safe in their house or neighborhood?
  • Pros and Cons of the property
  • Do they have any complaints?

Search Resources

Extra caution should be exercised when using online resources such as Craigslist, Trulia or Zillow. Sites like these can often be rife with scams. A property manager should confirm the lease before any payments are made. In addition, it is highly recommended that students do not wire money through services such as Western Union or Money Gram if at all possible. Wired funds sometimes can be virtually untraceable.