5 Questions People Forget to Ask Before Renting an Apartment


Apartment | Source: iStock

Congratulations, you found your dream apartment! However, before you start to celebrate, you need to do a bit of housekeeping (but not the kind that requires a mop and broom—at least not yet). When you first rent an apartment, it’s common to get so excited that you forget to ask some important questions. However, forgetting to ask key questions about your new apartment could lead to a world of trouble later on down the road. Here are five questions you need to ask.

1. What are the terms of my lease?

This is one of the most important questions you need to ask. Make sure you know how long the lease is effective. One of the first things you need to know is when your lease starts and ends. Never assume anything, and make sure to get everything in writing. Even if your landlord agreed to a special request verbally, make sure the lease is amended. Read your agreement thoroughly to ensure that all agreements are reflected in your lease and that you’re clear on every detail.

2. How much do I owe each month and what fees am I responsible for?

This should be outlined in your lease, but you want to be clear on what you will owe each month. Also ask if there is a late fee for payments that are not made on time. There is usually some penalty for late payments. However, there may be a grace period before this fee is assessed. In addition, you’ll want to know if electricity or any other maintenance fees are included in the rent or if you will be responsible for making a separate payment.

3. What are the rules for moving in and out?

Happy couple lying on floor with cartons

Moving | Source: iStock

Some buildings only allow tenants to move in and out during specific times of the day. Weekends may have even tighter rules. Take a moment to learn the rules for moving in and out of the building in advance. This will save you the frustration of having to reschedule your move.

4. Are pets allowed?

Cat playing with money

Cat | Source: iStock

Our pets are like family. When we move, they move with us.  Unfortunately, if you’re not clear on the building’s pet policy, you may have to part ways (unless you have a pet rock, then you can easily transport Rocky without being noticed). If you’re a pet owner, it’s a good idea to get this question answered early on. You don’t want to commit to the apartment, only to learn that Mr. Mittens can’t come along with you. So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your fur baby is welcome.

5. Are there quiet hours?

Man with finger over mouth

Quiet | Source: iStock

Some apartment buildings have designated hours when it is not permitted to make a certain level of noise. Generally, most buildings set 10:00 p.m. as the cutoff for noisy activities. You want to avoid getting schooled about the noise policy after your neighbors have filed a complaint with the building’s management office.

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