If you’re anything like I was, you probably arrived at the first apartment that you rented, armed with just youthful curiosity and your senses of sight and smell. And you probably never even considered the sort of questions you should have really been asking. Here we look at some questions that might just make everything a little easier the next time you decide to rent a property.
What’s included in the price? Utility bills? Internet? TV?
Clearly, this can make a big difference in the calculation of whether the apartment rental price is reasonable or not. If the bills are not included, it’s a good idea to ask what an average monthly cost of utilities and services might be.
Is there somewhere for me to park my car?
What’s the point of having a wonderful apartment without having anywhere to park your car? And beware, finding a space in a city is not always as easy as people say it is. If in doubt, check for yourself before you sign.
How do you want me to pay the rent?
Via transfer or cash, whatever the option, make sure that the method of payment is agreed on and that this agreement will include an element of written record. Also, is there a late-payment penalty to be imposed? If yes, obviously you need to know the details and have it set out in writing.
How long is the lease? Can the lease be extended?
If you’re planning on staying put for a considerable length of time, this may be one of the most important factors in deciding which property to rent.
What kind of deposit do I need to pay, and how much notice do I need to give before moving out?
Obviously you need to know how much deposit you need to pay, but equally important is the amount of notice that you need to give should you decide to leave. On the flip side to this, you also need to know how much notice you’ll be given, should your landlord/landlady decide that they want to bring the tenancy to an end.
What changes can I make to the apartment?
Some landlords/landladies dread the thought of you changing anything. Others welcome it, especially as it means that the apartment gets a free makeover. Whatever the case, this is a question that needs to be asked and agreed upon.
Are there any plans for renovation within the property?
Okay, so a renovated apartment is a wonderful thing to behold, but if you’re moving in just before the work starts, it might not be so enjoyable.
Who is responsible for what type of repairs? How will repairs be handled?
If possible, get this set out on any rental agreement that you sign.
Losing your deposit, what could trigger this?
Landlords/Landladies may all have their own individual ways of looking at this. Some expect their properties to be left in exactly the same state from the day that you move into the day that you leave. Some expect their properties to be kept spotless and might start challenging you for not living up to their ‘high’ standards. Whatever the case, it’s obvious that furniture gets worn and accidents do happen, so it’s important to set out exactly what is expected from you as a tenant when it comes to wear and tear.
Are pets allowed?
Very important to ask this question if you have a pet before you sign.
How will the landlord/landlady access the property if needed?
Again, it’s something that should be agreed before you move in. Obviously, sometimes a property owner has to gain access to a property, especially if some sort of renovation is needed, but it’s entirely reasonable for a tenant to expect some prior notice.