How Do I Choose the Best Garden Apartment?

Lainie Petersen

The criteria for choosing a garden apartment are generally not much different than those for choosing any other type of rental housing. The unique concerns of moving into a ground floor apartment are those of security and privacy. While location is always a priority consideration when choosing a place to live, it becomes extremely important when choosing a garden apartment. Other things to think about include the security features of the building and the rental unit as well as the possibility of flooding. Finally, you should also consider the cost, layout, and condition of the apartment.

In addition to standard issues like security and safety, check to see whether the garden apartment is located near a floodplain.
In addition to standard issues like security and safety, check to see whether the garden apartment is located near a floodplain.

It is typically a good idea to only consider a garden apartment that is located in a good, low-crime neighborhood. In addition to choosing a good location, you should examine both the building and the rental unit for various security safeguards. Deadbolt locks should be on all doors, and you should have a peep hole on each door in your own unit. Other nice security features to have include burglar alarms, hallway video cameras, and a doorman or security guard on premises. Be sure to check the windows and any sliding glass doors to make sure that they can be secured from the inside.

In addition to inspecting the windows to make sure that they have good locks, you should also check to see if the landlord provides you with curtains or blinds that can protect your privacy. Bathroom windows should be made from frosted or textured glass. You may wish to ask a friend to stand outside the apartment and attempt to see in the windows in order to give you a good idea as to whether people on the street can see into your living quarters.

Flooding is not a concern in all areas, but if you live in a floodplain or your area is known for heavy rains, you may wish to rethink moving into a garden apartment. At the very least you should ask the landlord about flood prevention measures in the building and make sure that outside drains are well maintained. You may wish to ask neighbors in the area if flooding has ever been a problem before you make a decision about signing a lease.

Once you have addressed some of the possible hazards of living in a garden apartment, you should then make your final decision about renting using the same criteria that you would for any other home. Look over the building and individual units to see if they are well maintained. Ask whether there is a building engineer or manager on the property. Finally, be sure to review the lease terms and make sure that you understand your monthly rent, required security deposit, and whether any utilities are included in your rent.

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