Cheap Renters Insurance and 5 Other Items for First-Time California Renters to Put on Their Checklists

woman in new apartment making checklist of things to do

You’ve signed the lease agreement on your first apartment or other rental unit. Congratulations! The fun has only just begun. While moving in is probably your most difficult chore at this point, you still have much to do before and after moving day. 

For one thing, you’ll want to investigate the many financial security benefits of cheap renters insurance for your new California home. We’ll have more on that, but first, we’ll outline the five other steps you should take to make your first foray out of the family home as comfortable and trouble-free as possible. 

1. Store Your Lease Where It’s Near at Hand 

Your lease can seem like that paperwork you only needed so you could sign it and get that first apartment. But whether it’s a hard copy or electronic document, store it carefully away. You never know when you’ll need it. 

Issues you can’t even predict now can come up over time. What if you have pest or rodent problems? Who’s responsible for that? Can you paint your walls, and are there color restrictions? Who do you call for a broken lock, and how soon can you expect it to be fixed? What if a neighbor plays loud music far into the night? What gives your landlord the right to raise your rent at this point? Who do you call, and how do you reach them? 

Not that your lease will necessarily answer all of your upcoming questions, but it’s a good starting point. So always have it near at hand. 

2. Figure Out Your First Purchases 

You might not know what you have and what you need until you actually move in. That might be especially true if you’re moving in with a friend or significant other. Each of you might think the other has some crucial thing you’ll soon find out you need. 

Some items seem so trivial you don’t even think about them until the need arises. Think of such seemingly minor goods as a toilet brush, ironing board, kitchen wastebasket, oven mitt, vacuum cleaner, or cleaning supplies. 

Start compiling a list. Then reorder it by priority. Your budget might not be able to handle buying everything, but buy (or get from family) the most critical items first, and steadily check off items over time. 

woman making checklist of belongings in new apartment

3. Apply Elbow Grease 

You might only clearly see the condition of your new spaces when the previous owners’ furniture has been removed. If your landlord will let you spend a day or at least a few hours before your own moving day, you can give the place the cleaning it deserves. 

Your new California apartment might not feel like home until all evidence of the previous renters has been removed with soap, suds, and elbow grease. 

4. Make Sure Your Utilities Are On 

Remember what we wrote about the importance of keeping your lease agreement near at hand? Now take the paperwork out and make sure you know whose responsibility it is to pay for the utilities. Actually, that’s something you should know even before signing your lease since it can greatly impact your finances. 

The last thing you want is to move in during a bright California day and only discover you have no power as the sun sets and your lights don’t work. 

5. Give It Those Special Touches That Make the Place Yours 

You might have gotten your first California apartment because you wanted more control over your life. And that includes your surroundings. It doesn’t take much to take emotional ownership of a sterile apartment that at first seems like the living quarters of strangers. 

A few framed posters for your walls, an accent rug, and a cheap lighting arrangement might make all the difference in the world. Most of what you need can be found at a few big-box stores, and you’ll have the time of your life shopping for the few inexpensive pieces that will make you feel truly at home. 

Don’t Forget Your Affordable Renters Insurance 

Renters insurance might cost the average California renter less than $16 a month for priceless financial security. Your landlord is responsible for the structural elements of your new space: the roof, walls, heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, and other systems. You’re responsible for your own stuff. 

Here’s how that might break down. Let’s say a pipe bursts in the walls and floods your apartment. Your landlord will fix the pipe, replaster and repaint the wall, clean up the water spill, and replace floors or carpets as needed. 

But what if your expensive laptop and printer, a phone, couch, and wall art are destroyed and most of your clothing suffers mildew damage? And what if you must move to a motel for a few weeks while your place is being repaired? All of that is your financial responsibility. 

Cheap renters insurance would cover most of your costs in that scenario and also pay claims for theft, fire, vandalism, strong winds, and other cataclysmic events. That’s why the very least you must do is explore cheap renters insurance with your trusted insurance agent. 

Ask Us About Low-Cost Renters Insurance in California 

Cost-U-Less Insurance agents are professionals at helping new renters in California find the best and cheapest renters insurance. Simply call Cost-U-Less at (800) 390-4071 or get a quick quote online. We also invite you to find a Cost-U-Less location near you to explain your needs in person.