Hunting for a new apartment can be fun. In fact, the thrill of locating listings and selecting apartments based on maps, amenities, and photos can be enjoyable. However, the challenge begins when it’s time to tour a prospective apartment and meet the landlord.
This is where you need to begin asking questions. Remember, knowing the questions to ask and what to look for during walkthroughs are some of the most crucial elements of the apartment hunting process. Here’s a list of questions you should ask the agent or landlord.
1. What is the Renewal Rate?
A complex’s renewal rate is the number of renters who re-sign the lease at the end of the agreement. A high rate generally signifies that the residents had an enjoyable experience, prompting them to stay another year.
On the other hand, a low rate is a red flag. Low retention could be the result of several factors, including poor management, noisy neighbors, high rent, and continuous maintenance problems. It’s also important you establish the duration in which the unit has been empty.
2. What happens if I need to terminate the lease early?
While 12 months may seem like a short period, it’s actually a considerable period to commit, particularly if you think you may relocate for your family or career in the future. Therefore, you must establish what would happen in the event that you had to move early.
Find out if it’s possible to get out of the lease early and the notice you need to provide. You should also inquire whether you could sublet. If it’s impossible to move out early, ensure you establish the charges for breaking the lease.
3. What is the Pet Policy?
Whether you’re a pet owner or think you might have one in the future, it’s important to establish the pet policy. If you find that the unit doesn’t allow pets, it’s best you move on.
Don’t try to hide a cat or dog in the unit because it could be very expensive for you. On the other hand, if the unit allows a pet, make sure you inquire about the fees and deposit.
Bear in mind that pet policies differ widely, but most properties charge a non-refundable pet deposit or a monthly pet rent.
4. What happens in case of a maintenance issue in the unit?
Some complexes have on-site building managers or property owners who reside there while others offer a service that you can contact during business hours. Find out how the building owner expects you to report an emergency and how fast they will respond.
The last thing you want is to contact a plumber because the proprietor isn’t responding; this could leave you with a huge bill.
5. What Are the Included Utilities?
While advertisements should have revealed the included utilities, it’s still advisable to confirm with the landlord. Don’t go through the tour presuming you wouldn’t have to incur water charges only to receive a bill after signing the lease. Inquiring about utilities helps in clearing up gray areas, so don’t hesitate to seek answers.
From seasoned to first-time renters, there’s almost always something people tend to forget to ask when hunting for an apartment. While some information might not be a big deal, others could result in a huge inconvenience. Fortunately, this list will guide you on the questions to ask if you’re new to apartment hunting.
For more information on apartment viewing, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.