When apartment hunting, many potential renters get lost envisioning how to decorate their new home and who to invite to their first party. This is a mistake! While renters are occupied with various types of daydreaming, they are completely ignoring the apartment complex’s policies, features and fees.
Do not let this happen to you! It is essential to fully obtain and understand this information before moving in. Before you sign your apartment lease, take the time to review this list of questions.
Whether you are a seasoned renter or a newbie – there is bound to be one question you forget to bring up. Make your apartment tour as beneficial as possible by answering these 10 questions:
1. What are the lease terms?
Every complex varies with financial commitments and lease terms. While on your apartment tour, consider these questions concerning the lease terms:
- When will you be able to move in?
- For how long is the lease?
- What is the cost of rent per month?
- How are payments made?
- Is a security deposit required? If so, what are the guidelines to earn the deposit back?
2. What is the renewal rate?
A unit’s renewal rate refers to how many renters resign the lease at the end of their agreement.
A high renewal rate indicates that the residents were happy with the complex and decided to stay for another year, while a low renewal rate usually implies that residents may have had problems with the building. These problems may be due to loud neighbors, maintenance issues or possibly even poor management.
Determine when your renewal is and if your apartment complex will notify residents of the renewal in a timely manner. If you decide you do not want to renew your apartment, make sure that you know how far in advance you need to inform your apartment complex.
3. How old is the building and have there been any renovations?
An older complex should have completed some renovations since it was first built. If there have been repairs, take notes on what the repairs were and when they took place. Cabinets that were renovated last year versus 13-year-old cabinets make a huge difference.
On the same note, what appliances are included? For instance, some complexes do not include a dishwasher. It is imperative to look specifically at appliances when on your tour. To help remember, snap a few photos of these particular features.
Do not forget to review the flooring and counters too! Do you think they match the expense of the unit?
4. What is the pet policy?
Many complexes do not allow pets. Finding an apartment building that allows pets can make or break your decision. Edgehill is thrilled to welcome pets.
However, keep in mind that a pet fee may be required with your dog or cat. With this fee, determine if there is a deposit. Also, be sure to ask if there are there breed restrictions or weight limits.
5. Can I add a leasee later?
While you might move into your apartment alone, with or without the intention of bringing in another person, you never know when circumstances will change. For example, your significant other might want to move in or you may want to bring in a roommate.
If you decide you want someone to move in, your apartment complex may raise the cost of rent per month. Therefore, it is crucial to learn the policy before signing the paperwork.
6. Do they require renters insurance?
Renters insurance provides coverage for your property in the event of a traumatic experience, such as a flood, a fire, or theft. This coverage does tend to cost a little extra per month, so be sure to ask about renters insurenace requirements.
If the apartment complex does not provide renters insurance, you can still obtain your own personal renters insurance through an insurance company. This kind of insurance will cover personal items, including jewelry, a music system or even an expensive handbag.
7. How do maintenance and emergency repairs work?
Clarify if there will be one person to contact or a team of workers to call when a maintenance problem arises. It is important to know how these problems are handled and how long it will take for assistance to come.
Did you know that Edgehill provides online maintenance requests? Through filling out a form online, residents have easy access to gaining help in an efficient manner.
8. How secure is the residence?
Establish what security features are provided. Does the complex have a secured entrance for residents? For example, does the complex provide a unique key or passcode that only residents obtain? Additionally, do the doors have new locks for renters moving in?
We also recommend scoping out the neighborhood. How is the lighting? What does the local crime data look like? How is the general upkeep of the area? These are necessary features to consider when searching for a place to live.
9. What is the parking situation?
If you own a car, parking should be high on your priority list. In buildings with parking, you will most likely be assigned one parking spot for your rental unit. Take the time to learn how this works and how much this will cost. For instance, will this designated parking space be in a garage? Does this space require a parking permit?
Additionally, it is critical to determine the details concerning extra parking spaces per unit. What is the fee? Where will these parking spots be? How many extra spots can be given?
Also, be sure to ask if there a designated section for guests to park.
10. Are there any utilities included?
Utilities range across buildings and cities. This information should be listed in an advertisement; however, asking this question will help clear up any gray areas.
While it is possible for some utilities to be covered in the rent, some features may not be covered. Ask if cable, trash removal, water, gas, and/or electric are covered. Is Wi-Fi offered in the building? If so, how much does it cost?
If there are some utilities that are not covered in the rent, what are the steps to obtain them? For example, some landlords require renters to provide proof that utilities have been set up before they move in.
On the same note, does your apartment complex require a certain carrier that provides service for the entire complex? Or do they have a list of potential carriers for renters to choose from?
After the tour
After the tour is complete, follow up with asking when you need to inform the complex of your decision.
Finally, we recommend taking some time to review your notes. Weigh the pros and cons to guarantee that the apartment you choose to rent is the best decision. Choosing where you want to live is a big deal! However, with these questions answered, you will feel confident in your decision, and it may even seem seamless.
Once you move in, do not forget to take time-stamped photos to document any damages as well. You do not want to be liable for the dents and dings that were present before you moved in.
Happy apartment hunting! You can schedule your Grandview apartment tour here!