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6 Things To Know When Renting An Apartment in Miami

6 Things To Know When Renting An Apartment in Miami

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Living in Miami is an experience that you couldn’t possibly get anywhere else. It’s a city known for its immense diversity, non-stop entertainment, every day beach weather, and endless café con leches and pastelitos. As the nation’s melting pot, it’s no secret that people are coming from all over the world to see what the city has to offer, even if it’s just for a little while. Being a first time renter in Miami can be a little overwhelming if you go in totally blind. So, here are six things to keep in mind when you’re renting an apartment in Miami.

6 Things To Know When Renting An Apartment in Miami

1. Location really is everything.

When it comes to living in Miami, one of the key factors to choosing your rental is its location. If you’re a recent college grad and barely earning the average salary, or if you’re still in college, then you can’t expect to be living sky high right on the beach—but a girl can still dream though, right? Finding the right location in Miami that fits within your budget can be tricky. But, it’s not impossible.

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Miami living all comes down to your budget and ideal lifestyle, because each neighborhood has its own unique vibe. For instance, if you want to stay further south, Coral Gables and the Coconut Grove areas are the places to be when you’re not on a tight budget. Coconut Grove is the perfect blend of vintage meets modern, with lots to do, shops to walk to and brunch spots to try. Meanwhile, Coral Gables gives you a more college-town vibe with the University of Miami and all of its hustle and bustle just down the road.

6 Things To Know When Renting An Apartment in Miami
@melpzvc

If downtown high-rise living is more your cup of tea, then you’ll want to be in Brickell or Midtown. Here, you’ll find all things upscale and young professional living. But don’t let the suits fool you because there’s also a good variety of clubs, bars and classy rooftop lounges that have the best city views.

For every day beach vibes, Miami Beach is a great spot to rent… but it’s not cheap. If this is where you want to be, I suggest downsizing and finding yourself a cozy studio or finding some roommates to split rent with!

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My insider tip to first time renters in Miami is to consider working your way down after making a more comfortable salary. I suggest first looking around North Miami Beach, Hollywood and Miami Lakes for more affordable options.

2. Living with a roommate saves you a lot more money than you think.

If sacrificing your dream Miami rental location isn’t up for discussion, then the next best thing to do is to find a roommate to help balance a healthy budget. Of course sharing your living space as an adult isn’t always easy, or ideal, but there will most definitely be those times when you’ll be glad to have made this decision… like when you can actually afford to save up for a vacation or treat yourself to a spa day.

But, what if you just moved to Miami and don’t know anyone? No worries! There are a couple of ways you can find a roommate when you don’t know anyone in the area yet. It may not be ideal, but Craigslist, social media and even flyers can help because yes they are still a thing—and effective!

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3. Researching the building and complex history is actually important.

One of the many unique qualities about living in Miami is being able to snag a place in one of its trendy and sought-after Art Deco style buildings. These may have some of the best curb appeal for apartment living, however, sometimes old isn’t always best. Before moving in or signing a lease, make sure to research the building to see what previous or current renters have had to say about the structure, layout, and overall management.

Sometimes reviews tend to be misleading when renters seem to only leave a review when something goes terribly wrong; BUT, this is when it’s important to decide what’s more important to you: a dreamy location, unit size, price or management.

6 Things To Know When Renting An Apartment in Miami
By Leslie Santarina

4. Not having all the essential documentation ready can be a deal breaker.

About 95 percent of the time, management or landlords will expect you to have all of the required documentation ready because apartments rent fast!  By documentation, I mean proof of income, your last three to six pay stubs and at least a copy of your driver’s license. If you find an exceptional apartment in a sought-after location, and for a great price, then chances are it won’t last on the market for long! So, it’s important to have these things on hand or easily accessible in a moments notice.

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5. Maintaining a good relationship with your landlord is key.

Nothing is worse than having an uneasy relationship with the person who has control over your general living conditions. If you’re lucky, the apartment will stay in mint condition and you won’t need to deal with your landlord much. But, sometimes things happen, or break, that are beyond your responsibility and it’s up to your landlord to get it fixed in a timely manner.

This is especially important in Miami when it’s 85-90 degrees with 70 percent humidity and a broken A/C! Plus, when you have a bug problem (South Florida living isn’t always glamorous—sorry!), it’s sort of a given that the landlord is supposed to pay for an immediate pest control service to your unit.

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6. Before and after photos can save your security deposit.

This often goes hand in hand with maintaining a good relationship with your landlord. A lot of the times, your landlord will trust that you didn’t totally destroy their unit. But, unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for others to try to blame you for things that were already wrong before you moved in. Like when you move into a studio apartment with wood floors that are so chipped you sometimes got splinters, and then the landlord takes half of your deposit after saying they weren’t like that when you moved in.

For some reason, Miami is notorious for this. There are two simple ways to avoid any move-out issues: one, is to take before and after photos of the apartment of certain areas around the unit that your landlord could possibly blame you for; and two, is to bring up any concerns at the time of move-in so they can either fix it right away or become aware that they can’t blame you for it later.

My last piece of advice to first time Miami renters is to not be afraid to contact a realtor! Most realtors are paid by the owner of the rental property, so it won’t cost you and they’re super knowledgable about the different neighborhoods.

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Happy hunting!

Do you have any more tips for renting an apartment in Miami? Let us know down below!

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