Renting a unit entails considerable trust on the renter’s part and the landlord’s. There are numerous aspects to discuss to make sure both parties are on a similar page. When a renter doesn’t ask sufficient questions, problems and misunderstandings are likely to arise.
Although renting isn’t a huge process like purchasing a home, it’s legally binding, so you’ll need to ask some important questions before signing the lease. Here’s a list of questions renters ask.
What is the Rent’s Breakdown?
Renters oftentimes examine the cost of a rental and presume that it covers everything they require. However, the cost you see is frequently only the rent price itself while utilities, cable, internet, and parking fees are extra.
When discussing the lease with the landlord, make sure you cover the entirety of what’s included and what isn’t in the rent. It would be a very unpleasant and costly surprise to sign the agreement only to discover that it doesn’t include what you expected.
If the lease doesn’t begin on the first date of the month, will you pro-rate the rent?
Numerous lease terms state that the first of the month is the due date for rental payment. However, you might move in on a separate date, so it’s prudent to establish what happens in such a case. Oftentimes, the landlord will pro-rate the rent for the first month, meaning you’ll just pay for the days you’ll be there.
The same applies to the end of the lease if it ends on a different day other than the first. It’s standard to issue pro-rated rent during the last and first month in such instances, so ensure it’s indicated clearly on the agreement. If it isn’t, request pro-rated rent for such periods.
What Payment Methods Do You Accept?
A renter should ask this important question. A number of landlords might request a particular mode of payment to help in account management while others might be choosy about ensuring they obtain it at a particular time.
Ask the property owner if they accept all payment methods (cheques, cash, bank transfer etc) or if they prefer a certain method. This is significant for those who don’t have easy bank access. Verifying this aspect will prevent later problems and issues.
Can I Decorate the Unit without Penalty?
Most leases specify that when you move out, you must restore the rental to the condition in which you found it. A number of landlords have a clause in the agreement that states you require their written consent before decorating or painting.
Therefore, you might need approval before putting wallpaper, hanging artwork, or driving nails into the walls otherwise, you’re likely to lose your security deposit.
What are the Policies for Breaking Your Lease Early?
Obviously, you aren’t renting a unit with the expectation that you’ll have to break the lease early. However, life doesn’t constantly go precisely as planned and it’s likely that you’ll have to move out before the lease’s term ends.
To be safe, ensure you recognize the policies revolving around breaking a lease before it ends. In particular, you should know whether it’s permitted and the resulting penalties. While numerous landlords permit early release if necessary, a fine might apply or you might need to forfeit the security deposit.
Renting can be a thrilling time especially if it’s your first time. However, you should take care not fall into the traps that new renters fall into by asking these questions.
For more information on the questions to ask as a renter, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a message.