So you’re finally renting your first apartment. Don’t get impulsive about it. Before signing the lease, ask your landlord these questions so that it helps you take the right decision.
For quite a few months now, you’ve been looking for an apartment to live on your own. You’ve scanned through a bunch of different apartments virtually as well as physically and have now had finally decided on the one you want. Since you’ve finally decided to rent out your found dream apartment and getting ready to sign your lease agreement, all the major ambiguities of you should have already been resolved. For obvious reasons, you really don’t want to live somewhere without knowing how much it’ll cost you every month and whether the appliances are working properly or not.
Finally, the time has come when you are supposed to sign the lease agreement. Before signing the lease, there’re many questions you’d want to ask. Since you’re dealing with a very critical and legally binding document, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. So when whipping out the pen and committing to something, make sure you ask these important questions as it’ll help you keep from making a very costly & time-consuming mistake. So let’s dive in;
Which Utilities Are My Responsibility?
Utility responsibilities usually vary depending on where you exactly live. For those of you living in a large apartment complex, utilities are covered by your rent. In many cases, the landlord will only pay for water & sewage. So just ensure that you know exactly which utilities you’re going to pay for and also ask for a history of the bills at that address.
As compared to others, some of the homes are more energy-efficient, and some have additional costs you might not consider. So make sure you get the complete picture so that you can easily find out whether utility bills put a unit beyond your reach or not.
What Is Your Guest Policy?
In most cases, the landlords don’t have any issues in case you have guests for long visits. But it never hurts to ask about the rules of the apartment complex/landlord. But still, this might be really tricky for you to handles at times. Normally, the problems occur when the guests stay for an extended period of time.
For instance; your best friend or one of your relatives has become homeless due to some reason and asks you to stay in your spare room for a few months, you’ll most probably have to face ramifications. And in case you plan to move your partner in to live permanently, make sure you consult the landlord. There might be a background check required for your new partner.
What’s the Pet Policy?
Honestly, most of the landlords don’t like pets for obvious reasons. Pets can tear things, leave a smell, they’re noisy, and often leave nasty surprises. Due to which, most of the rental spaces have some kind of pet policy in place. Sometimes, you’ll come across things like ‘Yeah, pets are fine, but make sure your dog doesn’t bark all the time’.
In other places, you might even be imposed a nonrefundable fee for the term of the lease in order to cover additional cleaning or even impose a monthly fee that’s called pet rent. In case you don’t have a pet now, still ask about it so that if you plan to have one in the future, you don’t end up with an unexpected mess or trouble with the landlord.
How Long Is the Lease?
Make sure you ask about it as all leases aren’t created equal. Unlike commercial properties leasing, some of the landlords might rent out their home for the summer and want a tenant for a few months only. For longer leases, you can get a great discount from some apartment complexes. In rental apartments, many landlords offer a month-to-month lease. Therefore, you must know this upfront before finalizing anything.