Assessing Your Financial Situation
for Renting an Apartment or Condo in Tampa.

Tampa, the center of the ultra-hip Tampa Bay coast, is one of fastest growing neighborhoods in Florida. According to recent census data, the Greater Tampa Bay Area has almost 3 million people, making this destination one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. What’s drawing over 90,000 residents to Tampa each year?

The city is a cosmopolitan hub humming with nightlife, art, culture, dining options, and some of the most sought-after coastal views in Florida. This vibrant, hip city is steeped in Cuban culture but has a distinctive flavor all its own.

Fiscal Pros and Cons of an Apartment

Tampa rent your home for rent by owner

It’s always a good idea to assess your financial situation and set realistic spending and savings goals before starting your real estate search. Once you have your goal in mind, you can plan long-term, fall in love with the perfect place, and make Tampa your home.

Preparing Documents Necessary for Renting an Apartment or Condo in Tampa

Tampa rent your home for rent by owner

It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford without overextending your budget. Experts recommend that a Tampa apartment or condo costs no more than 25% of your gross income. This handy formula can save you a lot of trouble when utility bills and other small but unexpected costs start to add up.

Make sure your Tampa apartment is a good fit for your lifestyle and needs. Most people have a wish list of things they want in their apartment, such as hardwood floors, in-unit washer and dryer, or covered parking, but it also pays to make a list of amenities that you want outside the apartment. Do you value being close to public transportation? Is it important that your kids can walk to the park? Make a checklist to ensure that your Tampa apartment meets all your needs inside and out.

While an apartment may seem appealing and chic, it’s crucial to take a step back and assess the neighborhood. Imagine how you will use the space from day-to-day, not just for that big housewarming party you plan to throw. Take a walk around the block, map your commute, and get a feel for the neighborhood before rushing into a lease.

When you’ve found your match, move fast! Tampa is a bustling city and the apartment and condo market can be competitive. Be prepared with a few of the most common documents that properties require:

  1. Your Most Recent Photo ID
  2. Your Credit Report
  3. A List of Past Addresses
  4. Recent Bank Statements
  5. Proof of Residency for Non-Citizens
  6. Three References

What to Consider When Looking for a Tampa Apartment or Condo

Tampa rent your home for rent by owner

Tampa is one of Florida’s most iconic cities. Aside from the endless sunshine, Tampa has a myriad of cultural attractions and unique neighborhoods. A unique mix of relaxed beach-side vibes and bustling city center, Tampa is a popular destination for living and vacationing.

Tampa Neighborhoods

  • Downtown St. Petersburg: The heart of everything. This neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a metropolitan experience complete with high-rise buildings and ‘round the clock activity.
  • Downtown Tampa: Shop at dozens of boutiques, dine at a new restaurant every night, and relax in some of the city’s chicest parks and recreation areas. You’ll never run out of things to do in this fast-paced neighborhood.
  • Gulfport: This diverse area offers a little bit of something for everyone from historic bungalows and unique shops, plus easy access to the waterfront.
  • Historic Kenwood: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this charming area has 1920s architecture and an annual BungalowFest to celebrate its history.
  • Hyde Park: This hip neighborhood is a perfect choice for working professionals who can unwind at Hyde Park Village, a large outdoor recreation area, and stroll down the famous Bayshore Boulevard.
  • Seminole Heights: This artsy neighborhood is brimming with hidden culinary gems, antique shops, the latest go-to spots.
  • Ybor City: Known as the “Latin Quarter,” this area is heavily influenced by Cuban culture. Enjoy amenities, such as the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Tampa Transportation

Tampa rent your home for rent by owner

While cars are the most popular mode of transportation for Tampa residents, the gorgeous weather makes it possible to bike, walk, and rollerblade. Local transportation is an option that many residents use in the city or as their primary way to get around.

  • Coast Bike Share: No bike? No problem. Use the free mobile app to rent shared bikes throughout the city.
  • Downtowner: Hop on this free, on-demand shuttle using the free mobile app.
  • HART buses: The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority bus run through Hillsborough County area.
  • Pirate Water Taxi: This quirky boat makes 14 stops along the Hillsborough river that runs through Downtown, the Channelside District and Davis Island.
  • PSTA buses: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority buses cover St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
  • TECO Streetcar: This vintage trolley travels between downtown Tampa, Channelside and historic Ybor City.

Tampa Pharmacies, Grocery and Convenience Stores

  1. Pharmacies: CVS, Walgreens, Kings Drugs Inc.
  2. Grocery Stores: Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market, Winn-Dixie
  3. Convenience Stores: Circle K, 7-Eleven, Metro Market

Local Places to Know

Ranked number 75 on US News and World Report’s “Best Places to Live,” Tampa is a diverse city with abundant dining, nightlife and entertainment options. Stop by a breezy beach-side bar or enjoy a gourmet meal all within your city limits.

Bars

Tampa bars

Swing by for a Happy Hour after work or find the perfect date-night spot in Tampa.

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant: Grab late night drinks on the roof deck and don’t miss the bar’s live music. 1202 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
  • The Sail Pavilion: Kickback with cocktails and small plates with a view of the water. 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Gaspar's Grotto: Savor Cuban-inspired bites and listen to live music at this pirate-themed hangout. 1805 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

Clubs

Tampa club

Dance the night away at some of Tampa’s hottest clubs.

  • The Honey Pot: This LGBTQ-friendly nighlife spot is known for its live entertainment and drag shows. 1507 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
  • Jazz House Supper Club: Soak in the local jazz scene at this upscale club with rooftop bar. 9331 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, FL 33619
  • The Castle: Dance-driven club known for its goth crowd. Djs spin everything from new wave to pop. 2004 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605

Lounges

Tampa louges

Enjoy a high-class, laid-back atmosphere at these premiere Tampa destinations.

  • City Side: Play billiards, darts, and arcade games at this chill gay-friendly bar. 3703 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609
  • Ducky's Sports Lounge: Root for your favorite team, enjoy a mini-bowling alley and sip some handcrafted cocktails at this sports lounge. 1719 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
  • John Rolfe Lounge: A laid-back hookah and cigar lounge with a variety of beer and wine. 214 E Cass St, Tampa, FL 33602

Restaurants

Tampa restaurants

Explore the culinary scene in Tampa with something to suit every mood and occasion.

  • Ulele: Sip on house-brewed beers while dining on truly Floridian foods, inspired by the indigenous people of Tampa, in a historic atmosphere. 1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
  • On Swann: Taste the latest dining innovations in this open-concept eatery located in the trendy Hyde Park Village. 1501 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
  • La Teresita Restaurant: A cozy, family-owned Cuban restaurant which also serves classic Spanish fare. 3248 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33607

Tampa Hospitals

When the unexpected happens, it’s vital to know where you can receive medical care at a moment’s notice.

Tampa home inspection for sale by owner

Memorial Hospital of Tampa
2901 W Swann Ave
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 873-6400

Tampa Community Hospital
1st Floor, 6001 Webb Rd,
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 888-7060

Florida Hospital Tampa
3100 E Fletcher Ave,
Tampa, FL 33613
(813) 971-6000

Kindred Hospital - Central Tampa
4801 N Howard Ave,
Tampa, FL 33603
(813) 874-7575

Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa
12502 USF Pine Drive,
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 972-2250

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care
12220 Bruce B Downs Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 631-5000

Local Physicians

Staying healthy and active is the best way to enjoy all the Tampa has to offer.

Tampa home inspection for sale by owner

Palma Ceia Family Care
2506 S MacDill Ave,
Tampa, FL 33629
(813) 402-8779

Tgh Family Care Center Kennedy
2501 W Kennedy Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 844-1385

Griffin Concierge Medical
1315 S Howard Ave Suite 102,
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 350-9090

Temple Terrace Family Physician
13311 N 56th St,
Tampa, FL 33617
(813) 899-2015

Doctors Office - Cromer Michael A MD
4278 W Linebaugh Ave B,
Tampa, FL 33624
(813) 960-3321

Anthony T. Duany, MD
2221 N Himes Ave Suite C,
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 354-9487

Dentists

Keep your smile looking fresh with these local dental care professionals.

Tampa home inspection for sale by owner

Smile Design Dentistry - Downtown Tampa
101 N Franklin St E,
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 906-1404

North Pointe Dental Associates
801 W Fletcher Ave,
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 961-1727

General & Cosmetic Dentistry - South Tampa
3112 W Kennedy Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 793-7502

Weninger Dentistry, PLLC
4030 N Macdill Ave,
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 872-7057

David Goldschein, D.D.S.
2401 W Kennedy Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 251-5740

Dr. Duga, Dr. Feeney & Associates Pediatric Dentistry
15293 Amberly Dr,
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 631-1100

Pet Hospitals

Tampa is a pet-friendly city! Make sure your furry friend is in tip-top shape at these local vets.

Tampa home inspection for sale by owner

Animal Hospital of Tampa Inc
4005 W Hillsborough Ave,
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 884-7551

Veterinary Medical Clinic
4241 Henderson Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33629
813) 289-4086

Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic
1111 W Swann Ave,
Tampa, Fl 33606
(813) 259-9698

Tampa Veterinary Hospital
2517 W Kennedy Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 254-3031

Cat Doctors
3221 W Azeele St,
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 877-6369

North Bay Animal Hospital
9801 W Hillsborough Ave,
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 885-4477

Car Repair

If you’re one of the many Tampa residents with a car, it makes sense to keep your vehicle in good working order.

Tampa home inspection for sale by owner

Guy's Automotive
3049 W Hillsborough Ave,
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 353-1537

Bay Area Automotive Services
1702 W Fig St,
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 254-0699

Mike's Garage & Auto Repair
8767 N 50th St,
Tampa, FL 33617
(813) 988-5689

Quality Value Automotive Repair
910 E Fowler Ave,
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 971-2886

With a better understanding of the amenities offered in your desired neighborhood, it will be even easier to narrow your search and find the Tampa apartment that best fits yours needs.

The Home Itself

Tampa rent your home for rent by owner

Once you’ve fallen in love with your neighborhood, it’s time to take a critical look at the Tampa apartment you’re about to rent. There are many things to consider when choosing the apartment that’s right for you. How much space will you need? What appliances are a must? Do you love the interior?

It’s standard to list apartment measurements in square feet but it may be confusing to decide exactly how much space is enough for your daily needs. As you visit apartments, make a note of which ones feel too small, which are a little roomy, and what seems just right. Also keep in mind that empty apartments always seem bigger so be sure to get the apartment’s dimensions so that all your furniture and necessities fit comfortably.

You can do a lot with savvy interior decorating but some things, such as window placement and layout, can’t be changed. Make sure you’re happy with the basics of your Tampa apartment before signing the lease. Depending on the terms of your lease, you may be able to paint the walls, change the carpet or install overhead lighting. When in doubt, just ask.

Consider the large appliances you’ll need that may or may not come with your Tampa apartment, such as refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, or air conditioning. Be sure to inspect the appliances that your landlord has installed and make it clear who is responsible for fixing things if something breaks. Do a walkthrough of the apartment and make note of anything that looks like it needs fixing.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Light switch functionality
  • Location of electrical sockets
  • Plumbing and water pressure
  • Natural light
  • Elevator and stair locations
  • If the home is pet friendly
  • Is the apartment or condo in a loud area?
  • How does the parking look?
  • Is it furnished or unfurnished?

Searching for Tampa Apartments or Condos for Rent

Looking for a Tampa apartment can be a tiring but also exciting process. While it may be overwhelming at times, be sure to keep your financial goals in mind and not to rush into a decision. Don’t settle for an apartment that only looks good on paper - take your search seriously and visit each property at least once. Don’t forget to take notes and snap a few pictures of the properties you visit.

Important questions to ask:

  1. How does the price of one Tampa apartment or condo for rent compare to other similar options?
  2. How long have the homes been on market? How quickly will it go under contract for lease?
  3. Is there an application deadline?
  4. What were the previous owners like?
  5. How old was the apartment or condo?

Visit Tampa Apartments or Condos

There’s no better way to get a feel for a Tampa apartment than to tour the property. Make sure you get V.I.P. treatment by calling the landlord or building manager ahead of time to express your interest and schedule an appointment. While you’re there, take a few minutes to talk to current residents, this could give you a perspective that the manager won’t tell you.

Be wary of:

  • Noisy or rude neighbors
  • Condensation on the windows
  • Spotted surfaces
  • Uneven floors
  • Poor water pressure
  • Faulty locks
  • Any holes or crack in the paint

Questions to ask the landlord/building manager:

  • How are maintenance requests handled?
  • How old is the building and its systems?
  • What are the amenities?
  • What utilities are included?
  • Is this unit rent controlled?

Signing a Lease for Your Tampa Apartment or Condo for Rent

Ready to move in? After you get approved, the next step is signing a lease. A lease is a binding contract between you and the landlord where you outline the terms of your living arrangement. Basically, you agree to pay a certain amount to money for a specified time, usually one year, in exchange for living in the apartment. Many lease agreements require a security deposit, which will be returned to you after move-out.

The details of the lease will include information about when rent is due, who it is paid to, landlord rights, weather care, lawn care, and other specifications. Now is the time to bring up any special requests or ask final questions about parking, painting, and building repairs. Get all your answers in writing to avoid future conflicts and be sure to save a copy of your lease.

Moving In to Your Tampa Apartment or Condo

Congratulations on finding your very own Tampa apartment! Before you get ready to move in, do a walkthrough with your landlord or building manager and, if needed, hire a professional to inspect the home. It’s also a good idea to protect your property with renters’ insurance and to confirm the emergency contact for your building. Now, all that’s left to do is move in and throw a fantastic housewarming party to celebrate your Tampa apartment.

Questions?

Call us at 1-844-239-2663 and we’ll help you get started on your home buying journey!