Renting an Apartment? – 5 Important Questions to Ask Your Landlord
Searching for an apartment can sometimes be a long and difficult process. When you finally find an apartment that you like you may be in a hurry to sign a lease and move in. If you feel the urge to rush into things, slow down and take a step back. There is some information that you need to have before you sign anything and on this page we are going to go over 5 important questions to ask your landlord before you sign a lease and move into a new apartment.
1. How Much Is the Rent and When Is It Due?
This question may be obvious but it is also very important. You need to know exactly how much the rent will be because you have to know if you can actually afford the apartment. It’s also important to know when the rent is due and when it is considered late. If you are late on your rent payments your landlord may report the late payment to credit bureaus and it will have a negative impact on your credit score. Knowing how much the rent will be and when it is considered late will help you make sure that you pay your rent on time every month.
2. Ask to See the Actual Unit before You Sign the Lease
A lot of apartment buildings will show prospective tenants a model apartment rather than the actual unit they would be renting. A model apartment is going to be carefully staged by a professional to make sure that it shows as nicely as possible. A model apartment will also usually be closer to certain amenities and have one of the nicest views of any unit in the complex. Ask to see the actual unit that is for rent so that you will know exactly what you are getting.
3. Ask Some Questions about the Security Deposit
When you move into a new apartment they will usually ask for first and last months rent along with a security deposit. It’s important that you know how much all of this will cost and it’s also important to know what it will take to get your security deposit back if you decide to move out.
A security deposit will cover any damages to the apartment that occur when you are living there. Sometimes, normal wear and tear may not be taken out of the security deposit but it is important to ask about that. After living in an apartment for a year or longer, it is likely that the carpets may need to be cleaned. Is this something that will come out of the security deposit, or does the landlord allow for normal wear and tear? If you hang some pictures on the wall, will you need to fill in any nail holes and repaint the walls? These are some questions that you should ask.
4. Are Utilities Included in the Price?
Some apartments will require that you pay for all of your own utilities while other properties will include that as part of the rent. You will need to find out if things like electricity, gas, water and other utilities are included or if you will be expected to pay for them. If utilities are not included, find out approximately how much they will cost because that may have a significant impact on whether you can afford the apartment or not.
5. Ask about Amenities
Many apartment complexes will have amenities such as covered parking and an on-site laundromat. Some apartment complexes will even have amenities like a swimming pool, game room, gym etc. Ask about what amenities are available and whether they are free to use or if there is an additional monthly charge. You’ll also want to know what the hours are that certain amenities are available for use, and with the complex’s policies are for inviting guests to use the facilities.
The five points listed above are some of the most important questions to ask before you sign a lease but there are a number of other questions you may want to ask as well. If you have pets, then you will certainly want to ask whether pets are allowed and what their rules are regarding pets. You may also want to ask questions about the complex’s security. A lot of apartment complexes have a gate that requires a key code to gain access. In addition to becoming familiar with the building’s security, it’s important to know what the procedures are for letting in guests as well.
In addition to the questions we have pointed out, you may have many other questions of your own. It would be a good idea to take some time and make a list of all of the questions that are important to you before you start apartment hunting. Keep the list with you so that you can ask all of the important questions without forgetting anything.