You’ve narrowed down your apartment search to a few quality contenders. You like the area, the prices are within budget, and the amenities are spectacular! You’re ready to take the next step and tour the community, and hopefully walk away with an apartment and move-in date. When you and the property manager are together, going over floor plans and resident activities, there are some extremely important things you should be asking about before making the commitment.
Before you sign, be sure to ask these questions.
______1. How much money will I need up front?
By asking this now, you won’t run into any delays on move-in day because of insufficient funds.
______2. What is your policy concerning getting the security deposit back?
If need be, request a copy of this section so there are no discrepancies getting your refund.
______3. What is the monthly rent, and when is it due?
Most places will charge you a late fee if you miss the rent deadline. If this continues to happen, you may be violating your lease, which can lead to eviction. Know your monthly rent so you’re not behind – write it on a sticky note and put it on the fridge. That way, you can refer back to it at the beginning of every month.
______4. Is there a late-payment fee? If so, how much?
As mentioned previously, many apartment communities charge a late fee for late payments. Your leasing agent should be able to tell you the amount right off the bat, or if they don’t, ask to refer to your lease agreement.
______5. What is your policy concerning raising the rent?
Depending on the area, market values can increase, or sometimes decrease. Luckily, if rent prices increase over your amount willing to pay, you can always move when your contract expires.
______6. Will I have to purchase renter’s insurance?
Some places may require you to, but it’s a good thing to have and it doesn’t cost much at all.
______7. Can I sub-lease or have a roommate?
If you think you’re going to move before your lease is up, ask now about a sub-lease. Some communities allow it (which is good for you so you don’t have to break the lease and pay more) and others don’t. If you think you may need a roommate, the leasing office will need to know about it and add them to the agreement.
______8. Is there a policy against home-based businesses?
If you own a home-based business and work for yourself, the leasing staff will need to know about it. This also applies to renters who have a home-based business with a few employees. Simply tell them about your business so they’re in the know of who is coming in and out of your apartment.
______9. Can I have garage sales?
You may want to purge some old things, why not make money off it? Ask this and get approval.
______10. I have a pet – are there additional fees?
Pet rent, pet deposit – you may be subject to paying if you’re a pet owner.
Other questions to ask the apartment manager:
______1. What is the average time it takes to fill a vacancy?
______2. What is the average turnover rate?
______3. What’s done to the apartment between tenants?
______4. Can I paint? What are the decorating restrictions?
______5. What is your pest control routine?
There are many questions that need to be asked when looking to rent an apartment. These are just a few to think about.