5 Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Renting an Apartment
Before you start renting an apartment you need to make sure the location is right, you could afford the rent, is it a safe neighborhood and it’s big enough for you and your furniture. Renting and apartment isn’t just giving a security deposit and moving in.
There are a lot of things you have to check off first. Before you sign the dotted line read the rules to make sure you the apartment you are planning to rent out is right for you and your family.
What Are the Fees You Will Have to Pay Ahead of Time?
I can’t think of anything more annoying than hidden fees when purchasing something. Some apartment buildings and or complex’s have fees for garbage disposal, water fees, or cable. Rent will only be part of your monthly bills if you don’t double the fees. If you have pets be prepared to pay another monthly fee on top of your monthly rent.
“Hidden monthly fees could really sneak up on you if you aren’t careful, this is one of the things that sucks living in an apartment”
says, Deandrizle ma’ Nizzle an apartment renter from Norwalk, CA.
Another question you should ask is what services you need to set up and which are included. Remember that some utility companies may require a security deposit before installation.
How Many People Are Able to Live Here?
The worst thing that can happen is that you find the perfect apartment; it’s affordable, next to your favorite grocery store and great location but you didn’t ask how many people are able to live there and now your husband or wife isn’t allowed to move in with you.
Another reason to check how many people are able to live in one unit is because you might want a roommate in the future to help you out with rent. This is a common thing among young adults who attend college.
“The majority of landlords will want a crime report along with a credit report of the person you want to be your roommate” says, Moe Lester a college student from north Pennsylvania.
If you are going with the roommate route make sure you find out what the landlord’s policies are first before renting the extra bedroom to someone.
Is My Security Deposit Refundable?
This is an important question; you always want to know if your security deposit is refundable. In many cases if the apartment building is left in good condition and the landlord approves you will get your deposit with in a few days. Keep in mind that some landlords will find “any” reason not to return your deposit back to you.
“I’ve heard of people who didn’t get their deposit back because they drilled a few holes on the wall for family pictures. That is insane and unfair,” says, Jim Shorts a P.E. teacher in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
Security deposits is another way the landlord will make money and replace worn down things like old paint, rusty shower heads among other things.
Are Pets Accepted?
Pets have become part of the family for most of us so renting an apartment where pets are not accepted is a guaranteed “no”. Some places require an additional nonrefundable pet fee each month, while others may be ok with the renter bringing in pets as long as they meet a height and weight requirement. Find out ahead of time what your fury pets will cost you.
“I have 2 dogs, a small Chihuahua and a large size golden retriever. The owner was ok with me bringing my small dog, but refused to let in my retriever. This was a deal breaker because I can’t abandon 1 dog while the other lives with me” says, Ben Dover a complex renter in Norwalk, CA.
Some pet owners are OK with paying the nonrefundable fee while others refuse to pay the extra $150 each month. Ben Dover like many renters is only one of few people who refuse to pay the monthly fee on top of the high California rent.
Ben Dover says, “No way, Jose, I am not the Juan” to paying another dime on high rent fees.
How is Parking?
Parking plays a big part when you find yourself driving to work, to the grocery store, to the bank and to do other daily activities. When the apartment manager or landlord gives you a tour around the apartment make sure to ask if there is a parking space available for tenants or will you have to park on the street.
Parking on the street isn’t so bad when you live in a low populated area. The parking citation starts to get bad when you live in a neighborhood where there are a lot of apartments buildings and the majority of the tenant’s park on the street.
“The apartment building where I currently live in offers parking spaces in the underground parking structure for $50 a month, this might not seem much to some people but with an expensive rent of $2,000 it adds up pretty freakin’ quick”
says, Eric Shin from Nashville, Tennessee.
Some apartment building will have parking spaces for a fee of $30-65 a month. This might be reasonable for some folks but obscured for others.
Renting an apartment is a fun experience especially when it’s your first time, it helps you with your finances and since most people don’t want to waste money buying takeout you will be forced to cook, it’s a win, win situation.