10 English Phrases for Renting an Apartment


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#1 – “I checked the classifieds, but I didn’t see anything in my price range.”

The classifieds¬†is the section of a newspaper with listings of items, cars, and houses to buy, sell, and rent. Your price range is the amount of money you hope or expect to pay – for example, “My price range is $1200 – $1500.”

#2 – “The apartment is fully furnished and has a balcony overlooking the park.”

If an apartment is furnished, it means it already has furniture – beds, tables, chairs, etc. If the apartment does not have these things, then it is unfurnished. There is also a semi-furnished apartment – meaning it has some furniture, but not everything. In this case, you need to ask for more details!

A balcony is a small external area, like in the picture. Overlooking the park means that you can see the park from the balcony.

Learn English words - balcony

Balconies on an apartment building. Image: Ryan from Toronto, Canada

#3 – “I can’t afford to live there alone, so I’m looking for a roommate.

I can’t afford… means “I don’t have enough money.” A roommate is a person who will share the apartment and split (divide) the cost of renting it.

#4 – “We’re looking for a spacious apartment in an upscale neighborhood.”

Spacious is another word for “big” – an apartment with lots of space. An upscale neighborhood is an area with a lot of rich people and very nice restaurants and stores.

#5 – “To move in, you need to pay the first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit.”

The phrasal verb move in means “enter an apartment/house to live there.” (When you leave, you are moving out). For many apartments, you need to pay two months’ rent (the “first and last month’s rent”) in addition to a security deposit – an amount of money that you get back at the end of your time living there if the apartment is in good condition. If you leave the apartment in bad condition, or if you break something, then the cost of repairs will be paid from the security deposit.

#6 – “On average, the utilities come to about $150 a month.”

Utilities are things like electricity, water, heat – the basic needs of the apartment. The phrasal verb come to in this context means “total” – for example, if the electricity is $70, the water is $35, and the heat is $45, then it comes to $150 total.

On average means “in general” – sometimes the total might be higher or lower than $150; it is not an exact number.

#7 – “There’s no washing machine or dryer in the apartment building, but there’s a laundromat nearby.”

A laundromat is a place where you can pay money to use the washing machines and dryers to clean your clothes:

#8 – “My sister is subletting her studio apartment for three months while she travels to Europe.”

If you sublet your apartment, it means you rent the apartment to another person temporarily while you are traveling. A studio apartment is a small apartment that has only one major room with the bed, kitchen, TV, etc.

If you need a bigger apartment, you can get a one-bedroom apartment – that means it has two major rooms (a living room and one bedroom). There are also two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments (these have a living room and 2 or 3 bedrooms), etc.

#9 – “The landlord is offering a two-year lease with an option to renew.”

The landlord (man) or landlady (woman) is the person who owns the apartment, from whom you are renting it. You pay the rent every month to the landlord / landlady.

A lease is a formal contract or agreement for you to live in and use the apartment for a specific period of time. If you renew the lease, it means you extend it for an additional time period.

#10 – “The building is a bit run-down, but the apartment itself was recently renovated.”

Run-down means the building is not in good condition – it is a little bit old and not well-maintained. However, the individual apartment was recently renovated – that means everything was fixed, redesigned, and made new. Other words for this are refurbished or remodeled.

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