Know Before You Rent

What Questions Should I Ask a Landlord Before Renting?

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Applying for a lease on a new apartment or home?

As you and your potential future landlord negotiate the lease details, be sure you know the answers to the following questions:

  • Parking – Is a parking space included in your rent? If so, where is it, and does it include a garage or electrical plug for winter? Also, if you plan to have guests over, what parking spaces are available to them?
  • Utilities – What is covered by rent, and what accounts will you have to establish in your name? Traditionally landlords will handle trash removal services and water, but other utility services like electric and gas often become the responsibility of the renter. Your landlord can provide you with contact information for the services so you can establish the accounts.
  • Upgrades – How long has it been since the unit was upgraded? And when it was, what work was done? Older appliances and carpeting might be ready for replacement, so ask the landlord about his planned schedule for upgrading. You might discover the unit had other issues, like mold or water damage.
  • Pets and long-term guests – If have a pet, or plan to adopt a pet during your tenure in the apartment, find out what restrictions your landlord might have on pets. Same goes for long-term guests. Some landlords establish a restriction on how many days guests can stay before they need to be added to a lease. If you have relatives or friends planning on crashing at your place for awhile, be sure to discuss this potential situation with your landlord.

Having these discussions prior to signing a lease allows you to know exactly what your landlord is expecting from you as a tenant, and what you should expect from your landlord.

Also, it’s a good idea to find out what your landlord will see and know about your past rental history by pulling your own report.  This will give you the best chance to rent the apartment you want