Ask These Questions Before Renting an Apartment
When you’re considering renting an apartment, you'll want to know what to expect from a prospective apartment community. That’s why asking the right questions of an apartment community manager is so important. Ask these questions during your apartment search to ensure that you have a clear picture of what it will be like to live in your new digs.
What is the condition of the unit?
Before you sign a lease, if possible, have the apartment manager show you the exact unit you’ll live in. Take your time and do a thorough inspection, checking out the condition of appliances, windows and walls.
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What’s the noise level like?
Apartment community managers — especially those who live on-site — are very familiar with the amount of noise in a community because they’re usually the first ones to be notified of complaints. If peace and quiet are of great importance to you, ask when noise levels are highest in the community.
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What’s the parking situation?
Will you have your own designated parking spot in your apartment community? If not, ask the apartment manager about parking rules. Make sure that there will be room for your car in the community’s lot. And if you plan on having a regular guest (like a boyfriend or girlfriend) visit your apartment, be clear on where they are allowed to park, too.
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Where are the washer and dryer/hookups?
If there isn’t a washer and dryer or hookups in your apartment, ask the apartment manager where you can do laundry. Is there a laundry room in the building? How much does it cost to wash and dry clothes? If there’s no laundry room, ask where the nearest Laundromat is located.
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Don’t forget to ask about Fido during your apartment search. Rules on how apartment communities handle pets vary greatly from one community to the next. Ask whether there are restrictions on types of pets, what the fees are (if any) for having a pet and what the policy is for cleaning up after Fido.
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Where do residents shop?
Getting a handle on an apartment community’s neighborhood is an important part of your apartment search. Ask the apartment manager where the most convenient places are to shop for groceries, pick up prescriptions and get gas. Access to the goods and services you use most will be important to you once you settle in.
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Can I decorate?
Some leases place restrictions on what kind of decorating a tenant can do. For example, some apartment communities don’t allow residents to paint or make holes in the walls. If setting your own decor is important to you, make sure you know exactly what’s allowed.
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How are maintenance issues handled?
Ask about the procedures for handling maintenance issues and repair requests: Should you put them in writing or is verbal notice appropriate? Is there an on-site maintenance crew?
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Are there any monthly fees?
You know you have to pay rent every month. But there might be other monthly fees associated with renting an apartment. If you have a pet, you might have to pay a monthly pet fee. You may also be responsible for paying some or all of the utilities. Make sure you understand — and can afford — the actual cost of renting an apartment.
Be diligent about asking questions during your apartment search, and you’ll be prepared for a smooth move into your new apartment community.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Svetlana Solovjova