Renting an apartment in every city presents its own challenges when you’re in the market, so it’s tempting to sign a lease after the first apartment you see. Be prepared with a list of questions before you make a commitment. If you don’t ask questions, you may find yourself in uncomfortable situations for the duration of your lease.
Here are 10 questions to ask before renting an apartment:
1. What is your pet policy?
Be prepared and informed for any pet restrictions or costs associated with an apartment.
2. Can the apartment be altered?
Before researching the perfect colors to paint your walls or where to mount a television, make sure it is allowed.
3. What utilities are included in the monthly rate?
Don’t overextend your budget by inquiring what utilities are separate from rent. Some apartments may cover your water bill, but charge extra monthly for pest control or garbage pickup.
4. Where are the laundry facilities?
Having a washer and dryer not in the unit or onsite may be a deal breaker for you.
5. Has the unit been checked for mold?
Your health should not be compromised, and mold can cause serious respiratory issues, allergic reactions, headaches and eye irritation.
6. Is there a lot of crime in the area?
Ask the landlord or front office upfront how safe the neighborhood is, especially in highly populated areas.
7. How much is the security deposit and is any of it refundable?
Every landlord and management company handles deposits differently, so ask about it to avoid any possible surprises at the end of a lease.
8. What is your maintenance policy?
Ask if there’s someone available 24/7 for emergencies and how they are handled.
9. What is the penalty for terminating a lease early?
Unexpected events happen, and you may need to move out before the lease expires. Have an idea of the cost and procedure in case you find yourself in this situation.
10. What about parking?
Ensure there is sufficient parking, especially if you own multiple vehicles. Some places charge extra to park under a carport or assigned spot and may limit the number of spaces for each apartment.
Renting an apartment is a big decision that should not be made lightly. Keep your eyes and ears open for red flags. You can protect yourself from possible headaches and find the perfect home for you by asking these types of questions beforehand.