1) Issues involved with picking a neighborhood
--i.e. the crime rate, the personality, etc.
2) Your landlord is not your buddy
--i.e. this is a business relationship, get everything in writing, have a healthy degree of cynicism
3) Your lease is for reading
-- don't just sign with a cursory glance, take it home and make sure you know what you're getting into
4) Safety and Security
-- how safe is the complex, do you know how to maintain things like fire extinguishers and smoke alarms?
-- how it's different from being friends, divvying up chores, what if one of you breaks the lease
6) Renters' insurance
-- why it's important and how it's cheaper than you probably think
7) You Need To Go Shopping
---things you don't own and need to (like a plunger) and things you should buy instead of dumpster diving (like upholstered furniture...nobody wants a bedbug outbreak)
-- getting them turned on, budgeting for them, negotiating the pluses and pitfalls of "included-in-the-rent" utilities
9) Be Nosy. Be Pushy
-- why and what you should investigate before you sign a lease, why it's important to keep pressing the issue if there's a fix that needs to be made
10) Know Your Rights
-- your landlord can't just walk into your apartment and other legal details first-time renters might not know
If you have renting stories/anecdotes/nightmares that relate to these topics please email me (don't comment here). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks a bunch.