Sunday, July 7, 2013

Apartment scavenger hunt!

The other day I emailed the leasing office at the new apartment to remind them of something, and they asked if I had filled out the move-in checklist yet. The what? I don't think they had sent it to me yet. Good thing I asked, because the list of things they want me to bring is long and insane. I have never had so many requirements for renting anyplace before. In fact, I think I usually just show up and hand them money. Here's the list, for those of you playing along at home:

- your City of Hot Place resident e-number (I don't even know what this is)
- city gas account number
- eye of newt
- renter's insurance for new address
(minimum 100,000 liability policy required before receiving keys)
- a virgin sacrifice
- copy of vehicle registration and photo of car
- a shrubbery (not too small, not too large, must fit in tiered space with other shrubberies to get a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle)
- photos of pets, labeled (they didn't ask, but I added their vet phone and microchip number)
- remaining move-in funds in cashier's check or money order only. No personal checks at move-in.

Say what????

Is this requiring renter's insurance a thing now? My current place sent out a memo to everyone that in order to be able to renew our leases we would have to provide proof of renter's insurance or pay in to
something they had chosen for us. I found that annoying, and was looking for a cheaper place this summer anyway (before getting the job offer), and I saw that mentioned in several other ads. Harrumph. Yes, I know you really should get renter's insurance; I've just always found that to be a hassle of time and money I didn't really have as a grad student and so relied on luck rather than insurance. Also ---- 100,000 in liability? I think I own maybe ... $5,000 worth of stuff. Maybe 4. It's just weird to have it forced on me as something mandatory.

I don't even know how to go about getting a cashier's check, especially when I have about 3 dollars of money in my bank account. This should be interesting. Guess what I'm going to be dealing with all day on Monday!!!


Anonymous said...

We've had to have renters insurance before, and we were told to require it when we rented our place out on sabbatical. Last time we rented we had to get a cashier's check. We got one from our credit union (luckily we had money then). The first time we rented I had to borrow money from my mom for the deposit (which was the first thing we paid back with my first paycheck).

Anonymous said...

Yes, renter's insurance is becoming pretty standard. I think it's because landlords want to protect themselves from renters who destroy property (or allow their pets to do it on their behalf). Lists of requirements like the one you received also are a way of gentrifying the apartment complex.

Your auto insurance company might offer renter's insurance as a package deal; ours is actually affordable.

Our current landlord didn't require insurance, but since we live in Tornado Alley City we deemed it wise to sign up. It also protects our stuff if the plumbing or wiring goes awry.

Contingent Cassandra said...

Remember the liability part of the renter's insurance policy covers not *your* belongings, but the harm that you might do to the property, and/or to other residents (so, for instance, if you left a pot to boil dry on the stove, and the resulting fire damaged not only your belongings but your neighbors', and/or your own or neighboring apartments). The principle is basically the same as requiring auto liability insurance even if you choose not to insure a clunker that could be totaled by a fender-bender for damage to the car itself.

This is purely a guess, but I suspect that insurance companies that cover the apartment complexes are pushing the renters' insurance requirement, because it adds a first line of reasonably-deep pockets (your insurer's) to dip into in the case of calamity, before the landlord's insurer is on the line.

It is, indeed, fortunately usually fairly cheap. If you are eligible to be insured through USAA (you need to be a veteran, or to have a relative who is a veteran; I'm eligible through my peacetime-veteran father), I recommend them (they also offer very good banking services).

Shane in Utah said...

I think I own maybe ... $5,000 worth of stuff.

If you're like every other Lit Studies academic I know, you probably have at least $5000 worth of books alone. And if you had a catastrophic house fire, you'd need to buy new clothes, new furniture, new toiletries and cleaning supplies, a new computer, etc. etc. You might not need $100K, but I'm willing to bet you'd blow through a
$50,000 insurance settlement in a couple of months. (I lived through a house fire about a decade ago, when I was still a renter. My wife and I would have been ruined without the insurance. Just sayin'.)

Belle said...

I would check on the liability - is it to cover property? Or persons? My liability coverage is in case somebody gets hurt on my property. So if they break a leg, and come after me for not sweeping the sidewalk, the liability coverage covers that. The other is property damage; I'd be clear on what they want covered.

The virgin sacrifice is a tough one!

Sapience said...

The $100,000 renters insurance is to protect *you* from your landlords (especially the big corporate ones) if something happens to your building, and they decide you are at fault. Most renters insurance also includes a separate "protect the value of your personal property" amount.

Sisyphus said...

Oh, ok. So the 100k liability is standard? And then, you think I'd need 50k for replacement coverage? Or maybe more like 10-20k replacement coverage?

Belle, the virgin sacrifice is easy... I'm going to hand over one of my cats; they have caused me enough trouble on this move!

minneapolis apartments downtown said...

In some rentals, renter's insurance isn't really mandatory. However, some apartments do recommend it highly as do I. It's the smart thing to do especially when you've chosen to live in calamity prone areas.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I've lived two places where renters insurance was required -- one in CA and one in the midwest. It was something like 25 dollars per month, through our car insurance company. We never made any claims with it, but it was nice to know that we'd be covered if something bad happened. Especially if you're like me and have a lot of school debt, you don't need to have any major losses over your head in addition to school debt when you could have had renters insurance for 25 bucks a month.

Anonymous said...

I have renter's insurance on my apartment, and it's a $100,000 liability as well. I bought into whatever the apt complex offered (an additional $10 on my rent each month), but it only covers the building or structural issues. It does not protect against theft or damage to my possessions. But I would guess my apartment is quite similar to yours in terms of the value of your belongings. So you should be able to do $100,000 liability for about $150 a year (that was what I was quoted by an Allstate agent).