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Basement Apartments for Rent: Pros and Cons

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Basement apartments for rent offer opportunities for affordable living, particularly in places where rents tend to be high such as near city centers, coastal towns or colleges. However, before you sign a lease for basement living read these pros, cons and tips to make sure you are renting the right place.

The Pros of Basement Apartments for Rent

In addition to affordable living, renters who live alone but like the security of having other people nearby may enjoy renting basement apartments. In many ways, renting a downstairs area or basement is a lot like having roommates – except that you will have your own private space; plenty of basement rentals also come with their own private entryway. If you are away from home for long hours, or even days or weeks at a time, a basement apartment is also one way to ensure that your home – and possessions - remain safe and secure while you are away.

The Cons of Basement Apartments for Rents

While basement apartments may offer secure and affordable living spaces, renters need to be aware of rental laws in their areas in addition to the conditions of the apartments. In many cities, it is technically illegal to rent out a basement space – although officials tend to look the other way. However, you may not be covered by renter’s rights if you are not renting a legitimate apartment – always check if basement apartments for rent are legal in your area. Basement areas may also be susceptible to unhealthy conditions including flooding, damp and mold and insect infestations.

Tips for Renting Basement Apartments

When you are viewing a basement apartment for rent, always thoroughly check the condition of the apartment. Does the apartment come with a separate heating and cooling system (basement areas can sometime be quite cold in the winter)? Have the owners of the apartment ever experienced flooding? Do you see any presence of mold?

In addition to checking the condition of the apartment, make sure the apartment is safe. All basement apartments for rent should be equipped with smoke alarms and, if needed, carbon monoxide detectors. Routes of escape should be available too in case of fire – never rent an apartment that does not have a quick fire escape route. Last but not least, never rent a basement space without a lease – even if you know the owners; a lease will protect both you and the owners of the home just in case any rental issues arise.


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