Lesson 41: Renting an Apartment



In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: renting an apartment. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Kevin and Dorothy are talking about renting an apartment.

Dorothy, did you find an apartment yet?
Yes, I did. I found one on the west side of the city.
Great! What are the leasing terms?
I wanted a short-term lease so the rent is a little higher. It’s $1000 per month for 3 months.
Are the utilities included?
No, I have to pay extra for water, sewer, and electric.
That’s normal. What about trash removal?
It’s included in the rent. In addition, the apartment building has 24-hour security and key-card access.
That’s awesome! Security is really important.
I’m happy with the leasing terms and the location. Also, the property management company really seems nice and helpful.


Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

west side (adj) western part of the city
The west side of the city is more dangerous than the east side.
leasing terms (n – plural) the conditions to rent an apartment, office, or building
The leasing terms are in the contract.
short-term lease (n) an agreement to live in an apartment for usually less than one year (eg. 3 months)
A short-term lease is better for some people.
rent (n) the cost a person pays per month to live in an apartment or for an office
My rent is $500 per month.
utilities (n – plural) a public service some must pay to live in a home (eg. electricity, phone, cable TV, water, and sewer)
The utilities are included in your rent.
sewer (n) the word used to describe what someone pays to take away toilet waste and water in a home
I pay $20 per month for sewer.
trash removal a phrase used to describe taking away waste from a home; waste removal
The trash removal service comes on Thursday mornings.
24-hour security a phrase used to describe the constant presence of cameras and security guards in buildings
My apartment has 24-hour security.
key-card (n) a plastic card used to enter buildings and homes; used instead of metal keys
The apartment building has key-card access.
property management company a company/business that manages apartments, buildings, and offices
I talked to the property management company yesterday about the water leak in the bathroom.


Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. Do you think it’s important to have 24-hour security in an apartment building?
    1. I think it’s really important because you will feel safer all day and night.
    2. It depends on the neighborhood you live in. Some are safer than others.
    3. Your answer:
  2. Do you like key-card access?
    1. I like it because it’s better than carrying keys.
    2. I don’t like it because sometimes the data in the card is erased and then it doesn’t work.
    3. Your answer:
  3. Do you think utilities should be included in the rent?
    1. It would be nice if the utilities were included, but normally they aren’t
    2. It’s normal for the utilities to not be included so to me it doesn’t make a difference.
    3. Your answer:
  4. If you were living in an apartment, what would you do if you had a noisy neighbor?
    1. I would talk to the property management company.
    2. First, I would talk to the noisy neighbor.
    3. Your answer:
  5. Do you think it’s important for apartments to be close to public transportation like buses, taxis, and subways?
    1. It doesn’t matter to me because I have a car.
    2. It’s important to me to be close to public transportation because I don’t have a car.
    3. Your answer:


Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Do you live in an apartment or house? Do you like it? Why or why not?
  2. What’s your favorite room in your home? Why?
  3. Is it better to live in a big city or small town? Why?
  4. Do you like living on high or low floors? Why?
  5. Describe your dream home.


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.


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