Before you sign a new lease, ask these questions. Your future self will thank you.
If you’re heading back to campus but living in your own apartment this time around, congratulations! Moving out of the dorms and getting a place that’s really yours is a big step. But before you grab the keys to your new apartment, you should do some major research.
These are the best questions to ask about the apartment you’re looking to move into. From rent to maintenance, these are important bits of information you’ve probably forgotten to check out.
Questions About Rent
Obviously, rent is the biggest component of moving into an apartment. But there are some nuances you might not have thought to ask about.
- How much is rent?
- When is the rent due?
- What kind of fee is there if rent is late?
- How much is the deposit?
- Is there a key deposit charge?
- How and when are deposits refunded?
Question About Your Lease
Leases can be another headache, especially if you have to break yours for any reason. Get the lowdown on how yours works so you can avoid paying any additional fees.
- How long are the leases?
- Does the lease allow for subletting?
- What kind of penalty is there for breaking the lease?
- Do you need references upon applying?
- Are there any storage spaces available for tenants?
Questions About Utilities
Most times, rent doesn’t include utilities. Take this into consideration when it comes to affordability before you sign your lease.
- What utilities, if any, are included in the rent?
- What is the average cost of utilities, not including rent?
Questions About Parking
Often forgotten, parking is a huge hassle at most apartment complexes. Be sure to find out where you can park, and if it costs extra for certain spots or not.
- Is parking included for residents?
- Is street parking available?
- Is parking included in the rent, or does it cost extra?
- Is there assigned parking?
- Are there any restrictions for guest parking?
Questions About Laundry
This is another important cost you need to factor into your monthly budget. Whether it’s the cost of using the on-site facilities or an increased monthly water bill, it’s definitely worth asking about.
- Are there in-unit or on-site laundry available?
- How much does laundry cost?
Questions About Pets
Thinking about bringing a furry friend with you? Most apartments charge extra for pets, sometimes even monthly. Others have weight limits or breed restrictions. Get all the info before you decide to add a pet to the mix.
- Are pets allowed?
- Are there any breed restrictions?
- Is there an additional fee for pets?
Questions About Maintenance
Hopefully, nothing goes wrong at your apartment—but something probably will. These questions are critical, so you can’t forget to ask your future landlord about maintenance.
- What are the circumstances allowing a landlord to enter the unit?
- How much advance to tenants get with regards to maintenance?
- How are maintenance requests submitted?
- How do you submit a maintenance request?
- What is the average turnaround time on a maintenance request?
- Am I allowed to paint the unit?
Worried about feeling homesick while you’re away at college? Check out our handy guide on how to deal with it.