12 questions to ask while apartment hunting

At some point, you’re bound to go through the apartment huntingApartment hunt logo process. It can be tedious and difficult to remember all of the questions you should ask during a showing. As you’re looking for your first apartment, consider these questions to ask the leasing agent.

There’s even a printable checklist from lifehacker at the bottom to take with you so that you’re able to write down important information as you make the decision about your future home!

  1. What are the upfront costs?
    1. You’ll want to know if there is a security deposit, an admin fee, or if there’s a fee to be on the waiting list. Make sure to ask when/if you will get those deposits back or if they will be applied to your first month’s rent, too.
  2. What does it take to break the lease? What are the lease terms?
    1. Is it a month-to-month lease, a 12-month lease or even a 13-month lease? What happens if you need to break the lease before it’s up?
  3. What is the parking situation?
    1. Find out if it is attached/covered or if you will be walking 4 blocks down the street with groceries at 10 p.m. at night and digging your car out of the snow.
  4. How secure is the property/parking?

    1. Is there a 24/7 doorman? Is the building key or fob accessible; and is the parking secure, as well?Apartment hunting questions
  5. What utilities are included?
    1. Of electric, water, gas, sewage, trash and cable, which of those will you need to cover?
  6. What is the turnover rate in the building?
    1. You don’t want to live in a building where people are constantly moving out [that means there is likely a problem with the building itself or management]. Ask how long the current tenants in your potential unit have been there.
  7. What are the late rent fees?
    1. Is there a grace period? If you are late, what is the fee?
  8. What appliances are included?
    1. Do you need to bring your own microwave? When was the last time the appliances were replaced?
  9. Are there any pet fees? Any breed restrictions?
    1. If you have a pet and are looking to move into a new apartment, you’ll definitely want to make sure your pet can come with you!
  10. How are repairs [emergent or standard] taken care of? What is the turnaround time?
    1. Do you submit a request online? How quickly can you get something fixed if it is an emergency?
  11. What are the restrictions around painting and putting nails into the wall?
    1. Some apartment companies will make you paint the walls back to the same color and Spackle the nail holes, or some just take money out of your security deposit.
  12. Are there any move-in specials?
    1. Apartment complexes sometimes have move-in specials where they will offer First apartment kitchenhalf off your first month’s rent if you move in by a certain date.

It’s a lot to remember, so this printable checklist from lifehackercan be super helpful as you begin your apartment searching!

These questions are all very important to as as you look for a new apartment. You could be living in this apartment for a while, so you’ll want to know everything about the building and the unit before you sign the lease!



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