What to Ask Before Renting an Apartment


What to Ask Before Signing a Lease on an Apartment Home

Finding an apartment to call your own is an exciting time!

However, to protect your interests and understand what you can expect once you move in, be sure to ask the following questions before signing your lease:

  1. Where and how is the rent paid each month?When are the payments considered late?  You will want to be sure you understand if you can drop off your check in the leasing office the day it is due, or if you are required to mail it in, and therefore need to have the payment prepared a few days in advance. If you are able to pay your rent online, or via a mobile device, this is also helpful information to know, as this can make paying your rent more convenient. Also, late payments usually incur fees, be sure to understand what the fees are for your particular apartment home as well as when and how to make your payments so you can avoid the fees altogether.
  2. What is included in the rent? Are there any other fees to expect? Some apartment home communities charge extra fees for a gym or swimming pool, and may even bill you extra for trash removal or water.  Be sure to ask about any additional parking fees too.  It’s better to understand these things up front so you won’t be surprised when you go to make your first rent payment.
  3. Is there a refundable security deposit? It’s important to understand the terms of your security deposit.  Where is your security deposit held?  Will you receive interest on it? Is any portion of this non-refundable?
  4. Are pets allowed, and are there any restrictions? Apartment home communities often have weight and/or breed restrictions, even building restrictions.  They will often limit the number of pets you can have in your apartment home. While pets may be permitted in most locations, be sure to ask about deposits and/or recurring fees associated with housing a pet in your apartment.
  5. Ask what you are permitted to customize?  Know if you are permitted to change the color of your walls or appliances, change out light fixtures, and what you could be charged for upon moving out.
  6. What amenities are included and where are they located? Many apartment home communities offer additional amenities such as a fitness facility, pool, or playground.
  7. Ask about the area! Where are the closest grocery stores, shopping malls, hospitals, police stations, etc.?  Ask if your leasing office will give you a list of local facilities upon moving in to your new apartment home.

These are questions leasing agents hear most often by prospective residents. Having answers to some of these most common questions can help you make an informed decision about the next apartment home you choose. We invite you to schedule a visit at one of our communities and speak to a leasing agent so you can have all of your questions answered.