Apartment Rentals

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Part I: Listen and Read: Listen, answer the questions, and read along with the audio recording.

Last month, I decided to move out of my parents’ place and start living on my own. I searched in the newspaper for apartment listings and found a place not too far from my work. The landlord showed me around the apartment, and because it suited my needs, I signed the rental agreement and paid a deposit, some of which I might get back when I move out. The apartment has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and kitchen. It also has a small utility room where I keep my washer and dryer. Right before I moved in, the landlord put in new carpet and had the walls painted, so it looks like a new place. The rent is $650 a month, not including utilities. I pay about $100 for gas, electricity, water, sewage, and Internet service. Unfortunately, the apartment complex doesn’t allow pets, so my dog has to stay with my parents for now. I might get a roommate at some point to share expenses, but I haven’t decided on that yet. The place looks a little empty because it isn’t furnished, but for the time being, I only have the basics: a bed, a table, a small sofa in the living room, and a TV. It’s not as liveable and cozy as my parents’ place, but it will have to do for now.

Part II: Vocabulary Exercise

Now, review the bold vocabulary above by trying this quiz. Then, return back to this page for speaking practice.

Part IIIDiscussion

What is the process of finding an apartment in your hometown? Can you contact the landlord directly, or do you have to go through a real estate agent? On average, how much does it cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment? Are most apartments already furnished, or do you have to furnish it yourself?

Part IV: Role Play

You have lived with your roommates for six months, but you’ve decided to move out because they haven’t taken care of the place . . . pizza boxes tossed everywhere, dirty socks on the kitchen table, and a pet snake loose somewhere in the sofa. Tell your partner about your current situation, and then explain what kind of place you are looking for.

Part V: Online Investigation

Suppose you are planning on moving to a major city in the United States, and you have to find a 2-bedroom apartment for you and your small family (your spouse and two small children, ages 7 and 4). You have a limited budget of under $800 a month for both rent and all utilities. Search the Internet for an apartment in the city of your choosing and report on the place you find. Be sure to prioritize your reasons for choosing the place.

Part VI: Online Listening Practice (from www.esl-lab.com and www.trainyouraccent.com):