Finding an apartment in a location that you prefer is one thing. When you find an apartment that impresses you and everyone in your family, the rent might not always be what you had pictured. After crossing all these obstacles when you do narrow down on one apartment, the excitement is real. However, do not blindly sign the lease until you have made sure that you have clearly understood every little detail about the rental terms. There are several questions that you should be asking your landlord before moving into your apartment. These questions ensure that you do not face any trouble in paying rents or vacating the apartment in the future.
What would be the rent, and what are the inclusions?
Depending on the place where you choose to rent an apartment and the homeowner association rules, some entities vary from one apartment to another. Security and other maintenance aspects are part of the rent in some apartments. However, some landlords might charge extra. Therefore when your landlord talks about the rent value, gain clarity about everything that is included. The host of amenities that the building offers and the ones that the tenants can utilize for the rent paid also affect the value.
What are the additional charges to cover while moving in or vacating the apartment?
Some of the additional charges that most landlords fix would be the moving charges. From the handling of the trash and other tasks that take place when a tenant moves in or vacates, various components are collated to fix the moving in costs. The prior notification might be required to book the use of service lifts for a smooth and hassle-free movement.
What is the parking facility offered with the apartment?
Covered parking space is a luxury that not many apartments offer. Some of them at least have dedicated open parking lanes. It would help if you talked to the landlord to know about the parking arrangements to make sure that you do not have to park your car several blocks away and walk all the way every day.
How do you take care of repairs and maintenance work?
If some minor repairs should be taken care of like electrical work or plumbing tasks who takes up the responsibility? Clarify the procedure to get the repairs done and know how much time these repairs generally take to be resolved. If you are concerned about the condition of the apartment it can be a good idea to get an independent building inspection report.
Can the landlord walk in without prior notice?
Visiting the property without prior notice would invade your privacy and cause a lot of inconveniences. There might be some terms of emergencies where this is permitted. Talk to your landlord to know about these conditions that are accepted as emergencies for a visit without prior notice.
How can you extend the lease period?
In case you plan to continue residing in the same property for an extended period, you can put a word with your landlord upfront. This can be taking into account while negotiating the rent to reduce the chances of large hikes in the future. If you plan to stay for a short period and then change your mind, you should know about the frequency and the slab within which the rental price hike is prone to occur.
What is the mode of payment of rent?
Some landlords allow online payments while some prefer check payments. Both of these methods give you proof of payment in some form. If the landlord requests cash payments, know whether you would be able to get receipts for the same.
Who pays the utility bills?
Necessary utility components like water might be part of the rent paid in some apartments. Along with this, there are other items like electricity which you would be handling on your own. Though this is a general scenario, it is always good to discuss upfront and gain clarity to add value to your monthly rent and other expenses calculations.
Can your guests stay with you?
Each apartment complex and each landlord might have a specific set of policies for allowing guests to stay. The number of guests who stay and the term for which they can stay can be influenced by these policies. There are some amenities in the building that the tenants can use, but the guests cannot. Also check with any housemates about any existing house/apartment rules that may already exist if you are new to the apartment.
Can you customize the looks of the apartment?
What kind of changes can a tenant do to the apartment is a question that you should ask right at the beginning if you love decorating your apartment. Try and include the terms in the lease agreement to avoid feeling like you have lost your freedom to alter the looks of your abode later on. There are however ways to improve the look and feel of your apartment such as temporary floor coverings which will not cause any damage to the rental.
Are pets allowed?
You should check about the pet policies in the apartment and the owner’s preferences as well. Some types of pets might be allowed. Knowing this will be useful if you own pets or plan to bring home some in the future.
Is there a rental insurance policy that you can choose?
Rental insurance policies are there to protect the tenant’s belongings in case of any damage that occurs to the rented apartment. Any instances of natural disaster or burglary can protect the landlord in many ways. Still, the renter’s belongings that are lost in the disaster can only be safeguarded by rental insurance.
Are there any renovations planned for the near future?
Besides the above critical questions, you can also check whether the landlord has any plans for construction or renovation projects planned for the coming months. Executing such projects while you reside in the house might be inconvenient in several ways.
Ask your friends and family who have already faced troubles with their landlords. Personal encounters can also give you a few ideas about the kind of questions on which you should gain clarity before moving into an apartment. With all the doubts cleared, you can move in with confidence and enjoy the privacy and peace that you very much prefer to have with your own family.