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Before you even sign a lease or give a landlord any money for fees or deposits do a thorough inspection of the premises you plan to lease, and find out about your credit rating. (Despite the myths, there is no law that allows you out of a lease if you change your mind in three days.) There are also things you should do after you have signed the lease, but before you move in.
NEVER sign a lease or even put a deposit down on an apartment or house until you have seen the exact place you will be renting. Some apartment complexes will show you a model apartment. Often, the apartment you actually get will not be as nice as the model. When you inspect the place you may rent, look it over carefully.