Ask These Questions Before Renting Your Next Apartment
Looking for your new apartment is an exciting time, but it is also a big decision and you want to be sure you know all the facts before entering into a lease. Other than the standard credit requirements and application fees, it is important to note a couple of things before making your decision. Before you sign your lease, ask your agent these questions:
What utilities are included with rent?
Some properties will include heat, water, sewer, garbage, electric, lawn care, snow removal, or internet with rent while others may not offer anything. It is important to know what your monthly and annual expenses will be in addition to your monthly rent.
How does maintenance get done? What sort of maintenance am I responsible for?
Management companies may require you to do small maintenance tasks such as changing your furnace filters, switching the batteries on the smoke detector, and changing reachable light bulbs. If the maintenance team has to fix these things, you may be charged a small fee, so it is important for you to know what you are responsible for.
If you are unsure how to change your furnace filter, change the batteries on your smoke detector, or reset a GFCI electrical outlet, or any similar task, check out our Resident FAQs page or YouTube channel.
What are the policies I should be aware of?
Most companies will have pet, smoking, guest, parking, grill, pool, and/or noise policies in place.
What happens if I have to terminate my lease early?
In case you need to get out of your lease early, you will want to know what the consequences are. Depending on what the company’s policy is, they may take your deposit and/or require you to pay rent for the unit until a new lessee is found or until the lease ends.
Am I allowed to sublet?
Some property management companies will not allow you to sublet or rent out your apartment on site likes Airbnb. If you are considering subletting, be sure to talk with your manager or landlord beforehand to see if it is against the rental policy.
Where do I pay rent? What are the late fees?
You never want to miss paying rent, so be sure you know where you have to pay. Can you pay online? Do you have to pay with a check? Are there processing fees? You will also want to be aware of late fees in the event that you don’t get your rent in on time.
What happens when my lease ends?
Your lease may end up going month to month or the company will require you to sign another lease to extend your stay.
What sorts of things will keep me from getting my rental deposit back?
It is important for you to know what could keep you from getting your rental deposit back so that you can be aware of those items during your time at the property.
Can I make changes to the apartment?
In some instances, you may be allowed to make changes, but other times you may not. Don’t start a project on your apartment before knowing the rules.