7 Possible Apartment Complications to Consider

By Lorena Roberts on August 24, 2017

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Moving into your new apartment won’t be perfect — not by any means. There are going to be problems you didn’t even see coming, so you should prepare yourself.

Here are some of the most common problems in apartments that you should anticipate before move-in day.

1. Broken stuff

Whether it’s the toilet handle or the door handle, stuff is going to be broken or get broken, like windows, banisters, and knobs on cabinets. But they’re all replaceable. The biggest way to avoid this happening in the middle of a stressful week is to never let anything be on its “last leg.” Always replace it before it breaks.

I’ll give you a good example of this: I moved into my new apartment and noticed that the front door handle wasn’t working very well. You kind of had to shake it a little and wiggle it around. I figured it would be fine. By day three, we were locked out of our apartment with melting groceries. It took them about an hour to drill out our handle and then another week to get us a new one. So we lived with a hole in our door and a deadbolt as protection. If I would have said something earlier, this wouldn’t have happened.

2. Leaks/Flooding

This is probably one of the most inconvenient things that could happen to you in your apartment. Our washer and dryer overflowed, and conveniently it was located on the second floor, and the ceiling started falling in the middle of making dinner. I kid you not.

It was the biggest ordeal to fix. The dry wall had to dry before it could be cut out, re-patched, and painted over. Talk about frustrating!

3. Bad roommates

If you’re moving into a new apartment, or you’re getting a new roommate, there are going to be some problems. I would suggest holding a “roomie meeting” when you first get there to just clear the air and set the tone. Is everyone going to be expected to do chores? Will one person always load/unload the dishwasher? There’s a lot to figure out when you first get to a place.

Here are some things you should probably consider discussing:

1. Who’s going to restock community supplies, such as paper towels and toilet paper? Will it be a rotating responsibility?

2. How often will you have overnight guests? Will there be a courtesy text sent beforehand?

3. How often will you do laundry? You don’t want to have a high electric bill, so if one of your roommates does laundry three times per week, that’s going to jack it up pretty high.

4. Will you share a Netflix account on the living room TV? This is serious. People move out/break up over this sort of thing.

5. What kind of decorations will the common places have? Is there a certain theme you want to stick with?

6. How will you handle disagreements/problems that arise between the roommates? Will you have an apartment group chat?

7. Will you allow significant others to have a copy of the key?

8. Will you have an “open door” policy, where your roommates can just walk in and look through your stuff if they need something and you aren’t home?

9. What’s the deal on sharing food/grocery shopping?

10. How often will you wash dishes/run the dishwasher? (Here’s another addition to the utility bill.)

4. Unexpected bills

You’re probably going to want to have some cash stowed away for things you didn’t anticipate. Bills will come in that you didn’t expect. You’ll need a new rug because your dog threw up on it. You’ll have to buy things you didn’t think you’d need.

For example, when I first moved into my apartment, I did realize I was going to need so many curtains and curtain rods. There are a TON of windows in this place. If I’m ever going to get any sleep, I needed some blackout curtains.

5. New routines

You’ll have to get used to living in a new place with new roommates. Or the same place with new roommates. Or a new place with the same roommates. Regardless, there’s going to be an adjustment period. This is something to anticipate before you get there. It could be really painful, or it could be a pretty easy transition.

6. Utility bills

When fall rolls around, you’ll be volleying between the AC and the heat. Expect that your electric bill might be a bit more or less than you expected. Stash some extra cash for this exact reason.

If your bill is much higher than you’re expecting, maybe research why a utility bill would be so high. Are you and your roommates doing laundry too often? Running the AC or heat too hot or cold?

7. Unforeseen circumstances

There are plenty of things that could happen that aren’t on this list. To put yourself in the best position, be ready for anything to happen. Prepare for the worst, and appreciate the best.


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Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Honors Psychology. She is currently interviewing for PhD School Psychology graduate programs across the country and hopes to research early math curriculum and instruction. Along with writing for Uloop, Lorena is a preschool teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, and math tutor. She enjoys taking her Whippet mix, Gio, to the dog park and drinking hot chocolate in front of Netflix. She's known for her strong opinions, busy schedule, and obsession with cute dogs. If you want to reach her, email her at grober18@vols.utk.edu

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