Choosing an Apartment
Questions You Should Ask a Landlord Before Renting an Apartment

Questions You Should Ask a Landlord Before Renting an Apartment

Questions You Should Ask a Landlord Before Renting an Apartment


Questions You Should Ask a Landlord Before Renting an Apartment

Finding the right place to live in the Bay Area is no easy task. There’s a lot to consider when choosing an apartment– you don’t want to rush into anything. The worst thing that can happen is that you sign a lease and discover that it’s not a good fit for you. So, proceed with caution and consider the following ten questions to ask a landlord before you commit.

  1. What is required for move-in? Any prospective tenant will typically have to undergo a credit check and criminal background check as part of the tenant screening. Additionally, you will probably have to pay a security deposit. Check with the landlord to verify the move-in requirements.
  2. Who pays for utilities? Gas, electricity, water, internet, may or may not be part of the monthly rent, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, when it comes to utilities so you can budget appropriately.
  3. Would you consider a discount on rent if I agree to a longer lease? You can think about asking the landlord about negotiating the price, if it’s appropriate to do so. Approach them politely to inquire whether they are open to discuss rent prices. Keep in mind that an independent landlord may have more flexibility when it comes to changing this, rather than a major property company.
  4. Can I pay my rent online?  More tenants are paying their rent online because it’s convenient and doesn’t require stamps, mailboxes, checks, and it’s contactless. If you want to be able to pay your rent online, then it’s a good idea to ask the landlord whether they accept online payments before you move-in.
  5. Who pays for something if it breaks? You want to be sure you know where you stand when it comes to repairs. Typically, if something is broken because of the tenant, then they will pay for it. However, when it occurs because of regular “wear and tear” then the landlord will pay.
  6. How are maintenance issues handled? You want to know who to contact when repair issues come up. And be sure to consider after-hours contacts too.
  7. What happens if I need to break the lease early? What are the penalties? Perhaps you have to move to take care of your ailing parent or you get an unexpected job transfer 6 months into your year lease. This could happen and you don’t want to be taken aback by paying additional money that you didn’t know about. Ask about any fees that you have to pay when you terminate the lease.
  8. Is redecorating permitted?  Will I be able to customize the unit? Sometimes you are allowed to paint the unit and make personal adjustments, but you may have to pay a fee when you’re ready to leave when your lease is up.
  9. What amenities are included in the rent?  Some units have special perks like a pool, rooftop terrace, gym, or other amenities. Find out what you’re entitled to receive with your rent.
  10. What is the parking situation? Clarify if there is a specific parking spot reserved for you in the lot or if you can do street parking overnight. If you do have a reserved spot, find out the proper procedure if someone is parked in your space.

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