Living in an apartment can be kind of tricky.

Apartment Living
You want to make the space your own and match your style and personality. At the same time, you don’t want to spend too much time and money if you don’t plan on making this your permanent residence.

Apartments also come with a ton of rules and regulations that you must follow. So, it can be a little hard to keep track of how apartment living is really supposed to go.

Let’s go over four do’s and four don’ts of apartment living to help get you started.

DO Personalize Your Apartment A Little Bit

Just because you don’t own your apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t make it your own space that you can call “home.”

But first, you need to look over your lease to see what you are and aren’t allowed to do. For the most part, you won’t be able to make structural changes, so don’t gut the kitchen, renovate the bathroom, or install new windows.

What you should do is get rid of the plain white walls!

Find a nice shade of paint to liven up your apartment or hang a tapestry, string lights, or photographs to make the place your own.

Basically, make your apartment a place that you want to come home to at the end of the day!

DO Consider Your Space Limitations

A large apartment can be well over 1,000 square feet and accommodate all your favorite furniture! Yet, even one or two extra pieces of furniture can make an 800 square foot apartment look tiny.

You need to think about how you’re laying out your furniture and organizing your apartment. Sometimes, less is actually more.

It might be a good idea to hold off on buying new furniture until you move in. That way, you can take your own measurements and know exactly how those sweet couches will fit into your living room.

Getting rid of some extra clutter can also help to open up some space!

DO Report Maintenance Issues Immediately

It's likely your landlord will cover most maintenance expenses. That's assuming they're not related to damages you've caused, of course.

You probably won't have to pay out of pocket for the plumber, electrician, or exterminator.

The longer you wait to have repairs done — the worse issues might become. So, call up the maintenance workers before the problem gets so big that it affects your apartment’s functionalities.

Avoid making repairs on your own unless your landlord specifies that they’re your responsibility.

DO Spend Money on What You NEED

It’s exciting finally getting your own space, but hold off on buying expensive new furniture for now.

Your first few months living in an apartment will be eye-opening when it comes to your expenses.

What you might want to invest in are some quality dishes, a powerful vacuum, or a big-screen television.

Once you see how your savings account is a few months, you can start making larger purchases one by one.

DON’T Be Disrespectful To Your Neighbors

While your apartment is technically “your” space, you’re also sharing the building with other people. That means people are living below, above, or next to you!

Do your best to keep noise levels as low as possible. So, don’t invite 20 people over for a party on Sunday night and avoid vacuuming at 11 PM.

Remember that apartment buildings tend to have thin walls, so your music might sound much louder to your neighbors than it does to you.

If your apartment complex has assigned parking spaces, make sure you’re parking in yours. Make it a point to remind your guests where they’re allowed to park, so they’re not taking up your neighbor’s spot.

DON’T Make Changes You Aren’t Willing to Reverse

So, you’ve decided to make some changes and liven up the space. For the most part, your landlord is expecting you to return the apartment to its original state when your lease is up.

That means you’ll have to patch up holes, paint the walls white, and maybe even get the carpet professionally cleaned. So, if you’re not willing to undo the changes you want to make — don’t make them in the first place.

Otherwise, your security deposit might be at risk! And, your security deposit can be an extra few thousand dollars in your pocket.

DON’T Skip Renter’s Insurance

Not all states require you to get renter’s insurance when you rent an apartment, but it’s a great idea in most situations. Renter’s insurance usually covers things like fires, storms, vandalism, and most types of property damage.

Even though it's rare that you'll actually use it, you'll regret not having it if something terrible happens. Plus, it's sometimes less than $100 for the whole year, so it's definitely worth the investment.

DON’T Forget to Keep an Eye on Your Bank Account

There’s a lot of freedom that comes along with living on your own. Keep in mind that renting can be quite expensive and that expenses do tend to pile up.

Remember, you’re also paying your car payments, car insurance, health benefits, cable, electric, water, and a phone bill (plus more). So, it helps to be financially savvy when you’re living on your own.

If you find that renting is a little tough on your bank account, consider getting a roommate. You can easily cut your rent in half, and it might be nice to have a friend living with you.

Before choosing a place to live, it’d be a good idea to calculate your current income and bills to see what you really can afford in terms of rent. Also, factor in some emergency funds in case you suddenly find yourself unemployed.


Renting an apartment is a freeing experience and gets you used to living on your own. At the same time, it’s not exactly like living in a home that you own.

When you live in an apartment, use your signed lease as a guide for what you can and can't do.

Other than that, follow our four do’s and don’ts by making an effort to personalize your new residence while also striving to remain financially secure.


Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. His ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him in a successful career that now finds him leading the team at Turtle Creek.