How to Find the Best Rent, Apartment in the Fort Worth Area

The increase in population has driven apartment prices up over the past 10 years.

The increase in population has driven apartment prices up over the past 10 years.

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Like real estate prices, rents in Dallas-Fort Worth are skyrocketing. Apartment rents in DFW increased by 16% in 2021, as apartment supply struggled to keep pace with a growing population.

On average, 1,500 people moved to Fort Worth each month between 2010 and 2020, and its 2.1% growth rate from 2019 to 2020 was the highest among the nation’s largest cities.

Whether you’re new to the Fort Worth area or a first-time renter, here are some tips when looking for an apartment:

When is the best time to rent in the Fort Worth area?

The busiest time to rent an apartment in Tarrant County tends to be during spring break and the summer months, according to Alycia Alexander, assistant manager of Parkside Urban Apartments at 900 Matisse Drive in Fort Worth. Alexander has been with the resort for four years. As more new resorts are built, rental rates rise to match the market rate, she said.

The best time to rent is September through February, she said, when rates are lower than they would be during peak season.

When should I start looking for an apartment?

Alexander said she advises apartment hunters to start looking three to six months before they are due to move. Although the rates they see at the start of their search may not be the same when signing a lease, it allows people to take their time and find what works best for them.

At the start of the search, Alexander said to make a list of potential properties to view and note all aspects of the property and staff, not just the unit. When he gets closer to making a decision, she suggests visiting the top three properties again.

“You might have a different experience next time,” she said. “Next time you go, you want to make sure that every time you go, you get the same quality experience from the staff there.”

Security deposit vs application fees

A security deposit is one of the first payments tenants make before move-in day. The deposit covers any damage or missed payment at the end of the lease term.

If there is no money owed, no damage beyond “normal wear and tear” and unreasonable cleaning services are not required, the deposit is usually refundedin accordance with Texas Landlord and Tenant Law.

Application fees are paid when applying for an apartment. This is generally non-refundable and covers the costs of screening a potential tenant.

Read your lease

According to the Texas Apartment Association, most issues between tenants and landlords occur due to misunderstandings which could be answered in the rental agreement.

Before you sign your lease, the association advises you to read everything carefully, ask questions, and put every agreement, notice, and request in writing. Keep a signed copy of your lease for future reference.

Inspection checklist

When viewing an apartment, potential tenants need to look at more than the obvious condition of the unit. Apartments.com suggests having a list of what to look forwhich includes checking faucets and water pressure, appliance condition, installed smoke detectors, and signs of pests.

For North Texas renters, asking how a potential resort coped during the February 2021 winter storm or other natural disasters could be helpful when making a decision.

Megan Cardona is a duty reporter at the Star-Telegram, covering politics, government programs, community resources and more to help residents navigate daily life in Tarrant County and North Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where she worked at the campus newspaper, The Shorthorn, for two years.

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