4 Questions to Ask Before You Rent an Apartment
You are renting a new apartment, and you are excited about the change. Each new home brings with it new possibilities. However, you realize that you also need to do your due diligence. You must make sure that any apartment rentals that you look at are suitable for your needs. How do you ensure that your new rental is the right rental for you?
1. Is It Pleasant to Work With the Landlord?
You need to know if the building has the right landlord for you. Talk with others who have lived in the building or worked with that landlord. Just as the landlord wants a background check and financials from you, it is important for you to determine whether or not you can work with a specific landlord. For example, if friends say that the landlord often requests access to the apartment at awkward times of the day, is this something that you are willing to accommodate? Check to see who manages emergencies in the building. Is there 24/7 service, or will you need to track someone down the next morning? Know who will get the apartment ready for you and what will be ready when you move in.
2. What Extra Fees Are Associated With the Rental?
There can be a lot of extra fees that are not included in the original sticker price for apartment rentals. When you are looking carefully at apartment costs and balancing your needs for specific amenities with the cost of the apartment, you must know the true cost. For instance, you need to know:
- How much will utilities such as garbage, heat, and hydro cost? Talking with a former tenant about this is a good idea. Your energy use could be different, but this will give you a ballpark figure.
- Are there extra fees for pets? Know whether there is a security deposit or cleaning fee specifically for people with pets.
- How much will you need to pay for the damage deposit? Ask this up front so that you can make sure that you have the funds in your account.
- If you have more than one vehicle, do you pay extra for parking?
3. How Long Is the Lease?
Before you sign onto an apartment community, you need to know how long you can be there. While you probably do not think that you are going to break the lease, you should also look into the penalty cost for doing so, just in case that occurs while you are in the apartment.
4. What Are the Apartment Rules?
Each home, apartment, or other community has rules. What are the rules of this apartment building? Perhaps there is a noise bylaw that states that you must get prior permission to play loud music after 10 pm. Perhaps the apartment complex is geared toward older adults. Before you move into an apartment community, look at the written and unspoken rules of the community by asking the landlord or property manager and asking others who live there. Get a written copy of the rules if possible, and make sure that they work for your lifestyle.
- What rules does the apartment complex have governing behavior and interpersonal interactions?
- Can you change anything in your apartment, and what can you change?
- Can you have guests?
- Can you sublet the apartment?
- Who can live in the apartments? This includes pets as well.
At Open for Homes, we want you to succeed in your efforts to find apartment rentals or any other kind of home that suits your needs. Take a look at the blog at Open For Homes and get answers to your questions about home purchases and rentals.