Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment
When it comes to renting a new apartment, there is a lot to think about. You need to consider what you want in a new place. You have to keep in mind your budget and finances. Then there’s moving and getting your new home all set up.
But before you even sign a lease, make sure you’ve asked some questions, so that you’re not subject to any surprises. Not sure what to ask? Here are some questions you can think about as you start looking at apartments.
- Can you tell me about rent, deposits, and on average, what the cost of utilities is each month?: You need to take your budget into consideration first and foremost when finding an apartment. You don’t want to be living paycheck-to-paycheck each month if you can avoid it.
- What is my deposit for? How do I go about ensuring that my deposit will be returned?: You’ve probably heard stories from friends who may not have received their security deposit back when moving out of a place. But, more often than not, they may not have met the conditions to have their deposit returned. Ask for specifics on what you’ll need to do so this doesn’t happen should you move out.
- What’s the application process like for living here?: Every place has an application process that is just a little bit different. Ask how it works so you can have references available if needed and meet any other requirements if you find a place you love.
- What’s the length of the lease?: Lease lengths vary, so be sure you know the length of the lease for the place you are looking at.
- How can I pay my rent each month?: You may be able to pay by check, credit card, cash, money order, or even PayPal. Ask which method is preferred (or required) so you’re ready each month.
- Do you have a late fee policy?: While you don’t ever want to pay your rent late, ask the question so you know what the policy and what fees may be attached.
- What if I need to terminate my lease? Are there fees involved?: If you don’t think you’ll be in your place long-term or, perhaps, you have a career that may need you to move, then know how you can terminate your lease if need be.
- Is parking available? If yes, for how many cars? Is there a fee?: If you have a vehicle, you’ll need a place to park it. And, if you have roommates, they’ll need spots for their cars, too. Asking about parking is a must.
- Do you allow pets? If yes, what kind? Is there a fee for having a pet?: Not all places will allow pets. If you have a pet, make sure your apartment allows for it.
- How do I go about getting maintenance help?: At some point, in time every apartment will need some maintenance help. Ask what the process is to get the help you need.
- Are there any furnishings or appliances included?: As you tour the apartment, be sure to ask what is staying and what is going when it comes to furniture and appliances.
- Can I paint the walls? What type of decorations may I put on the walls?: If you want to paint, be sure to ask if it’s possible. Additionally, ask if you can use nails to hang things or if there is another method preferred for hanging pictures and art on the walls.
- Are we allowed to sublet?: This is most likely spelled out in the lease, but if you think you might want to sublet at some point in time, be sure to ask.
- How much notice will you provide me before entering the apartment?: At times, people may need to enter your apartment to do routine upgrades, ask how far in advance you will be informed about instances such as this.
- Will I be able to sign a new lease at the end of my initial one or go month-to-month?: When your lease is complete, you may want to sign another one or go month-to-month. Ask what the policy is regarding this.
When you’re looking for an apartment, go into the process with your eyes wide open. Be sure to carefully inspect your potential new place and ask important questions. It will make the whole process easier and not lead to any surprises.