Small Pets as Apartment Mates
Small pets are often the perfect choice for an apartment lifestyle. There are several reasons that you might want to consider a small pet versus a dog or cat. Maybe your apartment complex doesn’t allow regular pets like dogs and cats or your apartment is too small to have a larger pet. Maybe you aren’t in your apartment enough during the day to care for a regular pet.
These reasons, however, may not apply to small pets; and these pets can be just as rewarding as their larger friends.
Small Pets in your Apartment?
Before you even begin looking for a small pet to keep you company in your small apartment, you might want to stop by the leasing office and check on the rules for small pets. Your apartment lease may state that dogs and cats are or are not allowed, but more than likely, it doesn’t mention anything about a sugar glider, a guinea pig, or any other small pet.
Once you have found out your apartment’s small pet policy, you can begin your search of the some of the most fascinating animals.
Apartment Friendly Small Pets
Some of the best small pets for an apartment are the ones that are perfectly at home in a cage. Not to mention, if the pet is in a cage all day, it probably isn’t going to chew on your furniture when you aren’t at home.
Proper Apartment Etiquette Makes You a Considerate Neighbor
Every apartment complex seems to have one of them – the noisy and inconsiderate neighbor that doesn’t think their actions affect everyone around them. If that person would just practice proper apartment etiquette like the rest of the tenants; then life would be a lot more pleasant at the complex. Maybe that person has never been taught proper apartment etiquette or maybe they just forgot. Next time you see that person, you can provide them with this little refresher course.
Apartment Etiquette: Noise
Noise is probably the biggest complaint received by management offices. Please remember that you have people all around you and that 11:00 on a Tuesday night is not the best time to be testing out the power of your new subwoofer. Most apartments have “silent hours” listed in the lease or posted on the grounds. Your safest bet is to assume that quiet hours are from about 10:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m.; however you can always ask just to make sure.
Apartment Etiquette: Laundry Room
There is nothing more frustrating than going to do your laundry and finding that all the washers are full even though they have finished washing. All occupants have to do laundry. Respect your neighbors and check on your laundry often and make sure to relocate or remove your clothes immediately upon completion of the washing or drying cycles.
Apartment Etiquette: Common Areas
Just like the name implies, common areas are for everyone to use. Having cookouts and leaving the area and the grill messy or always having so many friends over to the complex pool that nobody else can even enjoy it are not ways to win over your neighbors. If you constantly treat the common areas as if they were your own, your neighbors are going to be counting down the days until you move.
Apartment Etiquette: Pets
If you are a pet owner and you live in an apartment complex, do not expect everyone to love your pet as much as you do. Keep your dog on a leash, control their barking and clean up after your pet. Many apartment complexes offer rewards to people that report bad pet owners. Not to mention, you could find yourself and Fido looking for a new place to live. Pet ownership in an apartment complex is thought of as a privilege, not a right.
*Photo by Christian Fleschhut
Protecting Yourself against Apartment Fires
Residential fires, either in your single-family dwelling or apartment, are frightening for all involved. However, there are steps that you can take to help insure that you, your pet and your family are safe even in the incidence of a fire.
Before you rent an apartment, perform a fire inspection and make sure that it is up-to-code. Make sure there is an adequate number of working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. If there isn’t, have the leasing agent correct this before signing the lease.
Top Causes of Apartment Fires
Although apartment fires can be caused by several things, the top causes include cooking/kitchen fires, heating equipment (i.e. space heaters, kerosene heaters), smoking materials (major cause of fatal fires), and arson, which even includes children playing with matches and fire.
Steps to Prevent Apartment Fires
There are several steps that you can take to help prevent a fire from starting in your apartment. They are as follows:
- Be careful with smoking materials and never smoke in bed.
- Keep matches and lighters where children can’t get to them.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Keep heating equipment at least three feet away from combustible materials.
- Replace worn electrical cords, make sure to always use power strips if additional outlets are needed.
- Do not store flammable liquids or compressed gases (i.e. propane) in your apartment or on your balcony.
- Do not use your balcony for storage or for grilling food.
What to Do in Case of an Apartment Fire
If there is a fire in your apartment, make sure that you have a plan and that your plan works. Know your fire escape route and know where all the extinguishers are in your building. Never ignore a fire alarm or your building’s public announcement system, if you have one.
Always follow these steps to escape safely:·
- Check doors before opening them. If the door is cool, open it slowly and stay low to the ground and leave the building as quickly as possible. If the door is warm, seal the door and the vents with wet bedding or towels. Go to a window, and if there is no smoke outside, open it and signal for help. If you are able, call 9-1-1 and let them know that you are trapped in the building and give them your location.
- Never use an elevator during a fire! Use the stairs!
- Once you are safely out of the building, NEVER go back in. If you need help, call 9-1-1 or ask a member of the fire department that has responded to your apartment fire.
Tips for Having a Green Apartment
Green apartment dwellers make better neighbors. Why such a bold statement? Frankly, it’s because it’s true. When you live in a green apartment, you are helping to make the world a better place for you and all of your neighbors. So in order to assist you in becoming a better neighbor, the following are some tips on how to have a green apartment.
Green Apartment Tip Number One
One of the easiest ways to move your apartment in the green direction is to simply turn down your thermostat. By lowering your thermostat one degree in the winter and raising it one degree in the winter, you can reduce your energy costs by almost five percent.
Green Apartment Tip Number Two
Switching out your apartment supplied showerhead with a low-flow showerhead is one of the most effective ways to conserve water in your apartment. They are inexpensive and take seconds to install and are likely to reduce your water consumption by 50%. Also, make sure you are using “green appliances” that have an energy star rating.
Green Apartment Tip Number Three
Replacing your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs is a great way to turn your apartment into a green apartment. Changing out just five of your bulbs could reduce your yearly electric bill by $100 and they will help remove greenhouse gases from the air. Whoever thought that changing light bulbs could be so rewarding?
Green Apartment Tip Number Four
Recycle, recycle, recycle. This is always the quickest way to become a little greener. If you are unsure about whether or not your apartment complex has recycling, just ask your apartment manager. If they don’t, try working with the management office to start an apartment-wide recycling program.
Green Apartment Tip Number Five
Finally, make sure that your air conditioning filter is getting changed, and checked, as often as it needs to be. Energy Star, a joint program established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy, recommends checking the filter monthly and having them changed at least every three months. If you haven’t seen your maintenance man in a while, you might want to give your leasing agent a friendly reminder.
Spring Cleaning Your Apartment: It’s That Time of Year Again
Spring is the time of year when everything is turning green, the flowers are blooming and the space under your couch is full of dust bunnies – time to spring clean your apartment.
To Toss or Not To Toss
The first step in spring cleaning your apartment is to go through all of your belongings, almost as if you are planning on moving. Decide what to keep, what to sell at a yard sale or what to donate to charity. Clothes are the easiest to go through. The general rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it for at least two seasons, than it is time to get rid of it. As far as everything else, if it isn’t replaceable (at least in your mind) and you haven’t used it for at least a couple of years, you might want to put it in the “get rid of box”.
To Clean or Not to Clean
Not that you have gone through your apartment and have relocated all the extra clutter to its new home, it is time to actually start cleaning. The easiest way to keep you organized and on task is to make a list of all the rooms in your home and then list all the chores that need to be done in each room. You might find that you don’t actually have as much to do as you thought.
It’s Not Just About Cleaning
Spring cleaning also means checking on the condition of various items found around your apartment. For instance, when was the last time you checked the batteries in your smoke detectors? How about the caulk around your tub? Wandering why bugs keep getting in? Maybe your screens are in poor condition. Go around and take a look at all of these different elements in your apartment and if you find anything that needs repairing or replacing, give your apartment manager a call.
Spring Clean Your Apartment and Enjoy the Spring
Now that all the cleaning is done and your life feels much more in order, reap the rewards of a clean apartment by stepping outside and enjoying the nice weather. Who knows, you might even meet a new neighbor or two!
You Need to Sublet Your Apartment
There are many reasons why you might need to sublet your apartment. You could have gotten a better job, but it requires your relocation to a different city. Maybe you lost your job and you can no longer afford your apartment. Maybe you and your significant other have decided to make it official and get married, but his/her place is so much better than yours. Or maybe, just maybe you have decided to run away from it all and move to the Caribbean. Whatever your reason, your lease isn’t up and you need to move out.
Subletting Your Apartment: Step One
The first step in subletting your apartment is to find out if you are allowed to sublet your apartment. The best thing to do is to ask your apartment manager directly about subletting your apartment. If you’re considering subletting your apartment, it pays to be upfront about it. Many apartment landlords or leasing agents will allow you to sublet if they approve the potential subletter, often through the same process they used when you applied for your original lease.
Subletting Your Apartment: Step Two
Now that you have permission to sublet your apartment, finding your subletter should be your next step. There are several ways to go about this process.
- Ask you friends if they know anyone in the apartment search process.
- Ask your apartment leasing agent if they have people on a wait-list that might be interested in taking over your lease.
- Advertise in newspapers and on-line.
Subletting Your Apartment: Step Three
You have found your subletter, now you need to make sure all the proper paperwork is handled. Go with them to your apartment leasing office and have them fill out the paperwork that is required by your landlord. It is also a good idea to have an agreement drawn up between yourself and the subletter to protect yourself if the subletter doesn’t pay rent or moves out of the apartment and is never heard of again. Remember that your name is still on the lease and you are still legally responsible for the lease.
Subletting Your Apartment: Final Step
Everything is worked out, your subletter is found and approved, and you are moving out. Just make sure that you have a new place all lined up. If you need assistance, you can always visit ApartmentSearch.com and make sure that you mention that you found your apartment here when applying for it so you can claim your apartment reward.