The family or individual who is thinking about the advantages of leasing or renting should make a catalog of education to prepare themselves for the world of apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes.
- How much is rent a month? What does this include? (Water, Electricity, Gas, Cable, Internet, Lawn care, Snow removal)
- How much is the deposit? If I change my mind before I sign the lease do I get my deposit back? Is there a fee to process the paper work? How do I get my deposit back when I move out?
- Do you have a list of the fees that will be charged to the deposit when I move out if it has not been taken care of?
- How much is the application fee? Is the application fee per person or per couple?
About The lease
- How long are your lease terms?
- When your lease is up do you have to sign another lease or does it turn into a month to month rent?
- What is the penalty if I break the lease?
- Can I have a copy of the lease to look at before I make any decisions?
- Do you allow pets? What kind of pets do you allow? Is there a weight or breed restriction? How many pets can you have? Is there a pet deposit? Do you get the deposit back at the end of the lease? What would be a reason as to why I would not get the pet deposit back? Where is this in the lease? Is there a monthly pet rent?
- What Amenities are Included in the Rent and who has access to these amenities. Swiming pool? Is there a limitation as to who can come to the pool with me? Hot Tub? Club house? Do you pay more if you want to reserve the Club House? Movie theater? Tennis court? Basket ball court? Work out room? Is it open 24 hours?
- If there is a maintenance issue when will this be resolved?
- Do you always have a maintenance individual on call 24/7?
- What is your policy on employees of the property entering the apartment?
- Can you enter at anytime without notice?
- How long of a notice is given before you enter the residence?
- Have you had an issue with pest control?
- How often do you spray for pest in the apartments?
- If I am having a pest issue will you spray at my request?
About the unit you are renting
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
- What is the square footage the apartment?
- How big is each room?
- Do you have a layout of the apartment that I can view?
- Do you have pictures of the apartment?
- What is included in the kitchen? (microwave, dishwasher, double sink / single sink, garbage disposal, oven, Does the refrigerator have an icemaker)
- Is there a washer and dryer included, if so; is it a side by side standard size washer and dryer or is in a mini stackable washer and dryer? Is there a washer and dryer hook up? Does it fit a standard washer and dryer side by side?
- Are there ceiling fans? Which rooms?
- What is the flooring in the apartment?
- Has it been changed recently?
- Carpet was professionally cleaned after the previous residents moved out?
- Does the bathroom have a shower, bathtub, or a shower / bathtub combination?
- Is there a balcony or porch?
- Can you grill out on the balcony or porch? Do you allow gas grills or caracole grills?
- Is it a smoke free unit?
- What can I do if I am not happy with the condition of the apartment?
Once I have found where I would like to live and getting ready to put down a deposit or sign a lease I make sure these questions are answered and these steps are done on my end. When I am shown the apartment I want to lease they will always show me nice, show apartment, is this the exact apartment I am going to move into, if not; I will not put anything down or sign a paper until I see the one I am going to move into. The first apartment I moved into I was shown the “show apartment” and was told that the apartment I will move into will be the same. Yeah it was the same set up but my apartment had 100's cockroaches, was dirty, and the condition was nothing I expected. Verify that everything you were promised is in the lease and if not have them write it down and sign and date next to it. Take tons of pictures of the apartment / rental property during the walk through and give them a copy. Have them sign that they received the copy. I have processed the CD with all of the picture via certified mail to make sure I have a date and a signature of when they received the package. This may seem like a ton of questions. But in the long run it is worth the time and energy I put in when finding a place to rent because I am never unpleasantly surprised because I have dotted my i's and cross all my t's.