10 Basic Questions To Ask Before You Rent An Apartment

10 Basic Questions To Ask Before You Rent An Apartment

It is important to understand what you are getting into before you rent an apartment. Before signing a contract or even looking at one for that matter, there are some questions you should ask the landlord.

By knowing the right things to ask when you are first shown the apartment, you can save yourself time as the answers to these questions may be the tipping point between living there or looking elsewhere.

1. How Much Is The Rent?

Perhaps the most-asked question when renting an apartment, and rightfully so, is how much it will cost you to live there. The price may be negotiable or it may be a fixed rate. Is it likely to go up at any point over your lease?

The likelihood is that you will have a budget in mind for how much you can afford, so you need to know exactly how much and how often you are expected to pay.

2. What Utilities Are Included In The Rent?

Basic living requires access to gas, electricity, water, and in the modern world - an internet connection. Find out if you will have to pay for all of these utilities separately or if they are included in the rent.

If they are not included, ask about what utility companies your neighbors use and which ones are available. If they are included, find out if there is a usage limit or any additional charges. This is an important factor when determining your overall budget for an apartment rental.

3. What's The Parking Situation?

If you have a vehicle, you will need somewhere to park it. Can you park it on the street? Does the apartment complex have a parking lot? Do you have a designated space? All of these are important questions. Additionally, it’s important to ask the question of whether or not parking is free or comes at a cost to you as the renter.

4. What Is The Pet Policy? Is There A Deposit?

If you have a furry friend or are thinking about getting one, then you should be aware of whether the apartment allows them and the type of pets it allows. Some apartments will allow pets but require a deposit to be put down, which you can get back if the pet proves not to cause any damages.

5. Are There Amenities?

Most apartments are furnished when you look around them but do not assume that any of the furnishings come with the property - make sure you question this. Does the place have a dishwasher or will you have to buy your own?

You will also need to know whether the apartment has air conditioning and if there is a place in the building where you can do your laundry. There may be luxuries in the complex such as a pool, or a gym which you also may want to try out.

6. Are There Any Income or Credit Requirements?

Some places require you to earn a certain amount and/or to have good credit to start renting the property as the party renting to you will need to know if they can rely on you to pay your rent on time and in full.

7. What Are The Terms Of The Lease?

You should know how long the lease lasts and if there are any clauses that will result in payment when you break it. You also want to check for any other clauses that may result in additional fees as a result of another situation. This keeps you informed and prevents your likelihood of running into unexpected fees and charges.

8. How Do Maintenance Requests Work?

If something in the apartment needs to be fixed, you need to know if it will cost you anything or if your landlord will handle it.

In the more likely case that the responsibility of maintenance falls to your landlord, you must be aware of how to contact them, how quickly, and under what terms the work will be done. Set expectations for potential emergency situations and determine what process needs to be followed in those events.

9. What Is The Guest Policy?

Some apartments may have limits on the number of guests you can have over at any given time or the number of consecutive nights a guest can stay over in any given time frame. This is more common with student apartments, but may be implemented in the one you are considering.

10. What Changes Can I Make To My Apartment?

Before you pick up a hammer and start making the place your own, remember that it is a rented space and there are likely limitations to what you can do. It is more likely that you can give the place a new coat of paint (however, not always), while much less likely that you can start knocking down walls and making other major changes.

Find out what the limits are and be careful to read through the contract carefully for any hidden clauses or loopholes.

Looking For An Apartment To Rent?

If you are looking for an apartment to rent in the United States, then consider browsing with ApartmentLove. Our advanced system makes it easy to search specifically for apartments within your price range, with your preferred number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and with the amenities or pet allowances you desire.

Published: March 09, 2022