If you are planning a move to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, there are many details to consider, from finding a suitable home to hiring a Durham Mover to packing your belongings.

Whether you're a college student looking to rent your first apartment; or a downsizing homeowner re-entering the rental market for the first time in decades, there are many precautions you should take before renting any property.

Once you find a suitable place, read the rental agreement carefully. Don't hesitate to ask a lawyer or more experienced friend to review it. If not spelled out in the lease you may want to ask the landlord:

How much is the security deposit and what are the requirements for getting a full refund?

How and when are rent increases determined?

What happens after the lease term ends? Often, it'll convert to a month-to-month rental agreement where you can leave anytime with proper notice (usually 30 days).

How many tenants are allowed?

What are building policies for things like houseguests, noise curfews, maintenance and repairs, pest control, smoking, lost keys and pets?

Can you sublet the unit before your lease expires?

And finally, be aware that many landlords check credit reports of potential tenants. Before you start looking, check your own credit report so there are no surprises.

(Photo attributed to Flickr member @sean dreilinger via the Creative Commons license.)