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5 Questions You Should Ask When You Go Apartment Hunting

Knowing the kind of questions to ask when hunting for an apartment and recognizing what to look for are some of the most crucial elements of the apartment search process. Furthermore, the aspects can make or break locating a great living space.

Whether you’re a seasoned renter or first-time mover, you’ll discover there’s almost always something you overlook when looking for your next rental. Here’s a list of questions you should ask during your apartment search.

1. What is the Renewal Rate?

A unit or complex’s renewal rate is the number of renters who re-sign the lease upon the termination of the agreement. A high rate typically signifies that the residents had a great experience, prompting them to stay another year.

On the other hand, a low rate is a red flag. Numerous factors could cause low retention, for instance poor management, noisy neighbors, high rent, and continuous maintenance issues. It’s also important to determine how long the complex has been empty and how much rent increases every year.

2. What Will I Pay in Up-front Costs Upon Signing the Lease?

Most landlords will expect you to pay at least a month’s rent upfront as security deposit against damages along with the last and first month’s rent. That’s equal to three or more month’s rent that you’ll need to pay once you sign the lease.

You may also incur a charge for an application fee and running a credit check, which could range from $30 to over $100 for every person on the lease. It’s important you inquire whether it’s refundable in the event that you don’t obtain approval before paying the fee.

You should also establish whether the fee can apply toward your security deposit if you obtain approval and sign a lease.

Bear in mind that in competitive markets, some proprietors may charge a fee for taking the complex off the market while your application undergoes processing.

3. What Should I do to Break the Lease?

Some circumstances might arise forcing you to break your yearlong lease when you are only six months into the lease.

Before you sign, establish the penalties for breaking the lease under extenuating situations. Remember that verbal agreements aren’t similar to written ones, so request any agreements to be in writing.

Breaking a lease is serious because you may have to give up your security deposit and any money the proprietor holds in your name.

Furthermore, it could also affect rental references in the future. You should also beware that if your parents are co-signers, they could be responsible for the lease’s balance.

4. How Old is the Apartment Building and Have Renovations Taken Place?

A historic or old building must have had some renovations since its initial construction. Therefore, it’s important to establish the exact renovations and when they occurred.

For instance, cabinets that underwent renovation last year are different from a 15-year old project. You should also find out whether there are any planned repairs in the subsequent months.

5. Do I Need a Co-signer?

Most proprietors expect tenants to meet a pre-set revenue standard and pass a credit check. In cities such as New York, this frequently implies that a landlord will expect you to have a specified annual income.

If you and your roommates fail to meet these standards, you’ll require a co-signer to sign the lease and assume liability if you don’t pay the rent. Before your hunt starts, find a family friend or parent who’s willing to be a co-signer.

Final Thoughts

When looking for an apartment, numerous renters ignore the particulars such as fees and landlord rules. It’s important you take the time to ask these important questions because they will break or make your renting experience.

For more information on apartment hunting, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave suggestions.