With the steadily increasing cost of rent, many individuals and families are turning to cheap apartments to keep their housing costs as low as possible. However, more affordable rent almost always means apartment problems, which is something that a lot of renters learn to live with eventually.

But does this mean you can’t make the most out of your apartment? Not exactly. Here are the most common issues in low-cost apartments and how you can deal with them:

1. Malfunctioning AC

Few things are worse than having a broken air conditioner in the middle of a hot day. And chances are, your landlord won’t take care of it as soon as possible, leaving you to swelter in the heat until you can get an air conditioner service to come by.

A broken AC is just one of the things that turn renters into such good troubleshooters. If your air conditioning starts malfunctioning, diagnose the problem and find solutions on the Internet. Sometimes, the fix is as easy as cleaning the filter or unclogging the condensate drain line. But if you’re not sure how to fix the unit, it’s best to wait for the landlord or the repair service to come by. In the meantime, use a stand fan to keep yourself cool and keep the windows open.

2. Plumbing issues

It’s common knowledge among renters that the plumbing is not great in low-cost apartments. But just like a malfunctioning AC, a leaky faucet or drain clog might entail an easy fix that you can do yourself.

3. Boring walls

If you can’t paint your walls or install wallpaper, what can you do to make the room less boring? Turn to removable wallpaper, wall decorations, tapestries, framed photos, art pieces, and mirrors instead. Just don’t forget to use removable hooks instead of driving nails into the walls to hang up your decor.

4. Lack of storage

Another common problem that renters face is the lack of storage, especially in cheap apartments that are have limited floor space as it is. Luckily, there are a lot of furniture options that double as storage space, such as under-bed drawers, open-top ottomans, and benches with cabinetry underneath, to name a few.

At the same time, limiting your belongings is imperative if you want to keep your home as clutter-free as possible. Downsize your stuff and get rid of the things that you no longer need or want. If you’re not keen on letting stuff go, you can store your excess belongings in a storage unit or at a loved one’s house so that they don’t take up space in your apartment.

5. Thin walls

Low-cost apartments are notorious for having thin walls, and even if your neighbors aren’t noisy, you might still hear them through what seems like cardboard separating your units. If this is the case for your apartment, furniture against the walls between units can prevent someof the sounds from traveling. Hanging thick tapestry or acoustic panels helps as well, and they can even double as decorative pieces.

However, these strategies won’t eliminate noise from entering your apartment. Aside from neighbors, there are also sounds from the outside, such as sirens, barking, and cars passing by. If you want to block out these unwanted noises, buy a white noise generator or play ambient music from your phone, especially when you’re trying to sleep.

6. Inadequate lighting

If the apartment is dimly lit, buy table and floor lamps for additional illumination. You can also consider replacing the apartment’s bulbs with LED ones for brighter light.

7. Outdated appliances

When it comes to appliances, landlords of cheap places usually provide the bare minimum. However, sometimes that bare minimum is not even good enough for day-to-day cooking activities.

If your appliances are malfunctioning, ask the landlord to replace them or at least have them repaired. If the appliances are merely outdated and ugly, a good cleaning can help make them look newer. Alternatively, you can install a temporary wallpaper or sticker to mask their appearance.

8. Pests

If you’re not so lucky to have a pest-free apartment, you have to take matters into your own hands. Avoid attracting pests by keeping food sources sealed and maintaining dry surfaces. To eliminate current pests, set up traps and poisons in the places where you see them the most. But if you have a full-blown infestation, don’t hesitate to call the landlord right away.

Living in a cheaper apartment doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. However, you have to take the initiative to make it a better place to live. So if you run into these problems, be a little creative in finding solutions, especially when your landlord is not available.