At some point, you’re bound to go through the apartment hunting 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!
- What are the upfront costs?
- 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.
- What does it take to break the lease? What are the lease terms?
- 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?
- What is the parking situation?
- 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.
- How secure is the property/parking?
- Is there a 24/7 doorman? Is the building key or fob accessible; and is the parking secure, as well?
- What utilities are included?
- Of electric, water, gas, sewage, trash and cable, which of those will you need to cover?
- What is the turnover rate in the building?
- 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.
- What are the late rent fees?
- Is there a grace period? If you are late, what is the fee?
- What appliances are included?
- Do you need to bring your own microwave? When was the last time the appliances were replaced?
- Are there any pet fees? Any breed restrictions?
- 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!
- How are repairs [emergent or standard] taken care of? What is the turnaround time?
- Do you submit a request online? How quickly can you get something fixed if it is an emergency?
- What are the restrictions around painting and putting nails into the wall?
- 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.
- Are there any move-in specials?
- Apartment complexes sometimes have move-in specials where they will offer half off your first month’s rent if you move in by a certain date.
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!