Renting your own apartment is the first step in being an official adult. Being out on your own can be fun and liberating, especially when it’s your first time. When searching for your apartment, you will likely find many beautiful places and say “that’s ‘the one’" many times over. It’s easy to get lost in the allure of a newly built place that has everything that you could ever want. However, it’s important to ask the landlord questions while taking the tour (or even before it) to ensure that you truly find the apartment of your dreams.
1) How Do You Pay the Rent?
Methods of paying the rent differ between landlords. Some landlords now allow you to make your rent payments online. Others require payments via personal check. Asking this question is very important so you can plan for the future accordingly.
2) Will the Rent Go Up in Price?
If you plan on living in the apartment for a long time, you need to ask if the rent will ever increase. You don’t want to be stuck in a lease or unable to renew if the rent goes up unexpectedly and you can’t afford it.
3) What is the Pet Policy?
Many people love to have the companionship of a pet, but not all landlords are okay with their renters having pets in their apartments. If pets are allowed, then you need to ask what kinds are permitted in the building. In most cases, if pets are allowed, there is usually a monthly fee, a one-time fee, or even a pet deposit.
4) Are Utilities Included in the Rent?
In some cases, landlords will cover the utilities for their buildings themselves because it saves them money. If the landlord does so, that means that cost of utilities is included in your rent so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay for them on your own. However, you still need to ask exactly which utilities are covered. Sometimes all of them will be, but other times it will only be a few, leaving it your responsibility to pay for the rest on your own.
5) What Are the Terms of the Lease?
Before signing the lease to any apartment, make sure that you know what the terms are in specific detail. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of signing the lease without really understanding the terms, but understanding the ins and outs of the lease is extremely important, especially when the time comes for you to move out.
6) Does the Apartment Come Furnished?
Sometimes landlords will have already furnished the apartment, which can be a good or bad thing for you as a renter. Furnished apartments are good if this is your first apartment or if you do not have enough money for your own furniture. They can also be a good thing if your stay is only going to be temporary. But if you already have your own furniture, or plan on buying your own, then asking if the apartment comes furnished can save you the hassle and money.
7) What is the Parking Situation?
Living in a big city without driveways for parking can be a huge problem if you have a car. The hassle of off-street parking and the costly 24-hour parking service can be problematic if the apartment you want doesn’t have a parking space.
Renting an apartment can be fun and exciting, if it’s your first time, but there are many things to consider before you make any type of agreement. Asking the right questions will save you time, money, and headaches. It’s best that you completely understand what’s to be expected once you move in as that will help ease the transition into the next stage in your life.