5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment

questions to ask when renting an apartment

It’s a fact: moving is stressful. With a deadline to keep and too many things on your mind, it gets easy to overlook certain details.

Most moving mistakes are mere inconveniences that can be dealt with later. But mistakes that you make on your signed lease agreement are legally binding.

These can have some very big consequences and they cannot be fixed later. Once you sign, the deal is done.

That’s why it’s important to know exactly what questions to ask when renting an apartment. And lucky for you, we have the five most crucial ones right here. Always ask your landlord these five questions before signing the lease.

1. What, When and How Much Do I Pay?

Ask your landlord to clarify all the terms and conditions of anything you may have to pay for. Obviously, you’ll have to pay rent.

But how much is the rent? Is it subject to change? If so, how often?

When is it due? Do they need first and last month’s rent up front?

And while you may be able to afford the rent, there might be additional costs you can’t afford. What else will you have to pay for?

Is there one or more deposit required? Is it refundable?

Are you paying for utilities? Which ones do you pay for? Who pays for repairs?

Lastly, are there any other mandatory or optional costs you may be charged, such as pest control? If so, what are they, how much and when do you pay?

2. Are There Any Non-Monetary Maintenance Requirements?

Other than money, what else is expected of you? Some rental homes hold you responsible for certain maintenance requirements.

You may be responsible for proper lawn care, carpet cleaning, etc. Find out anything you’re expected to do and the tools/resources you’ll need to get it done. Get specific instructions.

3. What Am I Not Allowed To Do?

Now find out what you’re not allowed to do. The simple, polite way to ask this is, “What restrictive clauses are in the contract?”

Are you allowed to have pets, repaint or sublet? Is there a noise curfew? What is the policy on having guests over?

Ask to see a list of any restrictive rules the apartment complex has. And if you’re not sure if something’s allowed, ask.

4. What Amenities are Provided?

Most importantly, is the building sufficiently cooled? Your landlord is required to provide basic essentials like plumbing, heating and smoke detectors.

They are not required to provide air conditioning. Even worse, they may not allow air conditioners at all, even if you were to purchase your own.

On a more positive note, some apartment buildings have additional amenities like a pool, a gym, laundry or free cable or wifi. These may be included in the price of rent or available for an additional cost. Either way, find out what amenities you do or don’t have.

5. What About the Outside of the Apartment?

Most importantly, where do you park? How many parking spaces do you get?

What about the area just outside your apartment? Are you allowed to put up a “No Soliciting” sign? Are you allowed to decorate the outside of your apartment for holidays?

Print These Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment

Print out these questions to ask when renting an apartment. Take them with you when you meet with the landlord.

Now check out What to Look For When Renting a Townhome in Durham, NC.