When it comes to choosing an apartment, there are serious considerations you’ll want to take into account including fire safety, sound control, energy efficiency, trash handling, and finally, security. One of the most overlooked aspects that a prospective resident fails to consider is fire safety. Additionally, you want to consider sound control because nothing is more annoying than sitting in your living room and hearing every footstep from the tenant living above you. Learn more about these considerations below!
Your new home should provide a safe environment for you and your family. If you are planning to rent an apartment, find out what the party wall construction is made of and where they are located. Ask about the floor and ceiling construction. In buildings without sprinklers (and most garden apartments buildings come without sprinklers) masonry walls and concrete floors offer vastly superior fire resistance than wood framing (regardless of the assembly). A fire that occurs in masonry and concrete buildings is very likely to be contained within the apartment in which the fire originated. Make sure you inquire as to whether or not the smoke detectors are hard-wired.
When searching for an apartment, you should add to your list of important features in your apartment building search, good sound control. An apartment building that is built and designed to resist sound transmission (i.e. disturbance) between apartments adds significantly to the quality of life you will experience as a tenant.
There are two parts to sound control:
- Sound Transmission
- Impact Noises
The first of which involves devices like televisions and loud conversation, while the latter consists of noises made from walking or dropping an object. The best way to find out the sound control aspects of an apartment is to ask about the floor and wall construction and to visit the apartment during the weekend when it is likely adjoining residents will be home.
Heating and Air Conditioning – Energy Efficiency
Many new buildings have been built with central heating and air conditioning. A properly designed individually controlled central heating and air-conditioning system is superior in its delivery of both heat and air conditioning, as it provides for total control over timing and temperature, and benefits the energy-conscious resident by allowing for billing based on actual usage. Many building owners have been aggressive in making improvements to their apartments of all ages in an effort to reduce the monthly energy cost to both the resident and themselves. The difference in energy costs to a resident living in a building “with” as compared to “without” energy conservation features could be hundreds of dollars a year. Always be sure to check if the windows are insulated, light bulbs are energy efficient, and water fixtures have water-saving features to prevent unnecessary energy costs.
Trash handling convenience is another overlooked element of apartment living both from a practical and cosmetic aspect. While some garden buildings feature trash handling within the building. The overwhelming majority handle trash with containers located adjacent to parking areas. Nothing says more about a building’s management than an overflowing trash container. Residents should make sure that the trash containers are conveniently located. It makes a nice appearance when the containers are enclosed. You should insist on a property that has an effective “recycling” program.
It’s wise to check what security features are present, as well as to review local crime statistics. Ask if the lock on your apartment door gets changed between tenants. Take notice if common doors have automatic door closers if they are propped open, and if the building’s interior hallways and exterior parking lots have good lighting. Some buildings have surveillance systems. Surveillance systems act to deter crime as would-be thieves look for the easiest targets with regard to burglary and auto theft. No property can guarantee that a resident won’t be the victim of a crime, but good precautions can be a very significant deterrent.