9 Things to Ask Your Landlord
Finding your dream apartment is a challenge, but the last thing you want to do is to sign a binding contract for a place that turns out not to be your dream apartment. Here are nine questions to ask your landlord to help make sure you're on the same page:
1. When is rent due?
Your new landlord may have different dates in mind than your last one. Confirm when your new landlord wants your rent to avoid any future conflicts.
2. What is your late fee/policy?
This isn't something you want to worry about if your rent is already late. Make a note of your landlord's late policy and fee before it happens.
3. Are utilities included with the rent?
You may look at the rent and think it's totally affordable – but is it? Many landlords don't include the cost of utilities or Wi-Fi, cable, and parking with the rent. Those are all extra expenses that come out of your pocket, so ask for an estimate in advance.
4. Which furnishings or appliances come with the apartment?
It's pretty standard for an apartment to be ready for tenants with at least a refrigerator and a microwave in the kitchen and maybe a couch or table in the living room. But you don't want to assume things are going to be there and then not have them. Ask your landlord what's included and what's not before you move in so you can plan accordingly.
5. Is the security deposit refundable?
A security deposit is something many people forget about. You may think you can afford a place, but did you take the security deposit into account? Ask your landlord if the deposit is refundable and what you need to do to be able to get it back before you start living at the place.
6. Is there a property manager on site?
Ask your landlord about property management so you know what to do when you need something in a hurry. If a toilet backs up, you have a leaky faucet, a roof leak, or any other similar emergency, you will need to know what to do.
7. What will you do to prepare the apartment before I move in?
Some apartments offer carpet cleaning and other services before a new tenant moves in. If they don't provide these services, ask what you can have done before moving in.
8. Are pets allowed?
Many apartments either don't allow pets or charge extra fees for them. If you have a pet, make sure your apartment is pet-friendly before you sign the lease.
9. What are the rules on personalizing the apartment?
You have so many pins you've pinned on Pinterest to decorate your new apartment, but what kinds of things does your new landlord allow? Make sure you can use nails on the walls and any other things your decorative ideas may require before you get started to avoid being charged for any damages. And never paint without permission!
With this checklist, you should be good to go. Happy apartment hunting!