If you’re wondering how to rent an apartment, especially if it’s your first, there are probably a lot of things you’re unsure about. While it helps to have things like budget, desired location, and number of bedrooms in mind as you search, there are things you won’t discover until you speak to the landlord. Here are the most important 10 questions to ask before renting an apartment.
1. How do I pay rent?
You might need to pay by check, but chances are there’s an electronic payment option too. In addition to the method of payment, though, you’ll want to know about late fees and when they apply.
2. Where will I park?
Depending on where you’ll be living, parking might be included or it may not. If it is, you might have an assigned spot or spots, or it could be open parking. Be sure to ask about guest parking, too.
3. What’s the guest policy?
Before renting an apartment, you should find out what the guest policy is. It’s an easy thing to forget about when you have out-of-town guests visiting, so make sure you’re aware from the beginning.
4. What is the pet policy?
This is one of those questions for landlords that’s easy to forget if you don’t have pets. It’s important to know, though. What if you get a pet in the future? You might occasionally have a visitor with a pet, too, so make sure you understand what the rules are.
5. Are utilities included? Which ones?
This is an important piece of renting advice, since it directly impacts your budget. Anything that’s not included in the rent needs to be added to the rent as part of your monthly cost.
6. How are emergency repairs handled?
When it comes to finding the right apartment, having someone on-site who can fix a broken pipe in the middle of the night is a benefit that should be considered. Some emergencies can’t wait, and you’ll want to know what your landlord expects of you when such an emergency happens.
7. Is renters insurance required?
Many landlords require renters to have a renters insurance policy in place; even if it’s not required it’s a good idea to have it just to make sure you’re protected.
8. What are the move-in costs?
One of the most important apartment rental questions, you need to know how much cash you’ll need up-front. You’ll probably be required to pay a security deposit, in which case you should ask what is required to get the full deposit back. First and last months’ rent will probably also be required, and there could be an application fee. Be sure to ask if it’s refundable if you aren’t approved.
9. Am I allowed to sublet? What if I have to break my lease?
If you ever need to move out before your lease is up, subletting can save you any penalties from breaking your lease, if it’s allowed. If it’s not, you want to know what you’ll have to pay in order to get out early.
10. What improvements can I make?
Before you start putting up shelves or hanging pictures, find out what’s allowed. Some landlords only require that you return your apartment to the condition it was in when you moved in, while others will have strict policies about what you can do, so always ask first.
Renting an apartment is an exciting experience. No you have the basic information you need to make the process as smooth as possible.
Once you get settled in your new place, it’s a good idea to start thinking about renters insurance. Renters insurance can protect you in the event of theft, damage, or injury and although it’s not required by all landlords, it’s wise to have a policy in place. USAgencies can help you find affordable renters insurance that fits your budget and needs. Request a renters insurance quote online or over the phone at 800-958-8545.