Questions to Ask When Apartment Hunting

Life/Recreation - General
By: CrystalW07    
26-Oct-2010

Introduction:You have spent your day looking at various places to live and have finally found a place you like. As you sit down with the office staff to discuss the lease, they ask if you have any other questions. Here are a few to keep in mind!

  • 01

    What Is the Penalty For Breaking the Lease?

    Although you may think that moving out before your lease is up is something you would never do, the truth is that sometimes life has other plans. It's helpful to know in advance if you will be stuck paying a huge sum in the event you find yourself having to move out early.

  • 02

    When Is Rent Late, and What Is the Fee? Are There any Other Fees?

    If rent is due on the 1st, most apartment companies will allow you to pay up until the 3rd or 5th without a late fee. Even if you don't expect to ever pay late, find out what the policy is now to save yourself future worry! Is paying a day late going to cost you a few extra dollars, or a few hundred?

    I think the most important question you can ask before you start filling out paperwork is "Are there any other fees?" It's not fun to find out that there's a $250 administrative fee required before you move in at the last minute. What's the application fee? Might they be willing to waive it? Is there a move-in fee? Should you expect a cleaning fee when you move out?

  • 03

    What's Included?

    Do a washer and dryer come with the apartment, or do you have to pay to rent them? Is there a separate fee for trash pickup? Is cable included? Water or sewer? Does the gym offer free fitness classes? Is there a free monthly barbecue for residents? The utilities and perks that are or aren't included in your rent can make a big difference in if you're getting a good deal or not.

  • 04

    What's the Pet Policy?

    Even if you don't have a pet, this can be a good question to ask so that you know what to expect. If the community doesn't allow dogs, you know you don't have to worry about loud barks from next door. If they do, do they require poop to be scooped, or can you expect a surprise if you step into the grass? Are there plenty of grassy areas where Fido or Fluffy can stretch his legs, or is he going to be stuck doing his business on a tiny plot of grass right outside your door? Some places charge only a security deposit to cover any extra cleaning when you move out, while others charge an extra monthly fee for pets.

  • 05

    Can I Paint?

    How much personalization of your space is allowed? Many companies will allow you to paint your walls as long as you repaint them to the original color before you move out. Can you hang pictures from nails, or is your decorating limited to tape and sticky tack? This is one situation where it is cheaper to ask permission than forgiveness!


Comments

  • bretsuki 2/9/2012 Flag This Comment

    These are some really great questions. I would have been glad of these in the past when house hunting.

    Now I can have a handy reference for the future. H5

  • jseven 2/9/2012 Flag This Comment

    Good questions that many people need to know about renting. Congrats!

  • goodselfme 2/8/2012 Flag This Comment

    Returning with a congratulations for the front page spot and another h5

  • BonnieDossKnight 2/8/2012 Flag This Comment

    Where were you when I was a renter? You've covered the most relevant questions one should ask before signing on the dotted line. HI5

  • dashboardc33 2/8/2012 Flag This Comment

    Awesome list!

  • clewand550 2/8/2012 Flag This Comment

    These are all thorough and accurate questions to ask when apartment hunting. Nice list. Congrats on front page.

  • litetender 3/26/2011 Flag This Comment

    Good thoughts on questions to ask. I would also hope I'd remember to ask about the crime rate, too ....

    High five!

  • goodselfme 10/27/2010 Flag This Comment

    No only are there 5 on your list to ask when apartment hunting, but you jammed packed a bunch in to make it so thorough. Great asset to anyone who reads this. I pressed"I like it" because I did!

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