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5 Questions to Ask Before Renting a Home or Apartment

Now that you’ve found the perfect home or apartment to rent. It’s important to make sure that the property you’re looking for really is the right place for you and your loved ones to live. Here are 10 questions you need to ask before signing any residential rental lease.

1, How much do you need to move in?

Typically, landlords require you to pay more than just the first month’s rent. Most require both the first and last month’s rent when you move in as well as a security deposit. This can be a costly figure depending on the rent amount. Asking the landlord about this information is important and requires allocating sufficient funds. Some landlords can be flexible and negotiate these deposits. The only way you will find out is to take a proactive approach and ask.

2. Who pays for utilities?

Utilities are an essential part of your living situation. Ask about water, gas, garbage pickup, cable, and internet. These are all necessary to a home or apartment. Depending on what your landlord covers or doesn’t cover, you will have to budget out how much your utilities will come out to. Generally, you can get a feel of this number by asking the landlord or past tenants. They can give you a better estimate.

3. Are there any hidden fees?

Knowing your total monthly cost is key to planning out a correct budget. Don’t assume that utilities will be your only expenses. Many apartment complexes charge extra for parking, pets, and amenities (pool, gym, etc.). Keep this in mind when you are asking for the total rent costs. Try to negotiate these fees and you can cut some of the cost.

4. How much is the security deposit?

When you move in to a new place, you will most definitely have to put down a security deposit in case you damage your place. Finding out the cost of this security deposit and the terms and conditions that apply IF you do damage the home is important. Reading the lease thoroughly will help you find these answers and give you context to dispute if necessary. Make sure your lease does not include any special provisions which will give your landlord more power to retain your money. 

5. Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

This is also another crucial part of renting. Confirming with the landlord who is responsible for what is a deal breaker. Getting into disagreements about repairs is no fun, especially when it gets taken to court. You also need to know exactly what appliances and fixtures the landlord must maintain. If something is not specified in the lease or stated by the landlord, then do not assume it will be taken care of. Also you cannot force a landlord to repair anything in the home if it is not written in the contract. This is why being explicit of who has the responsibility is key to a solid lease agreement.

How Can Wilson Property Management Help?

As we can see, these are important questions to ask before renting a home or apartment. There are many other questions to keep in mind as well. If you need more advice or have any further questions regarding renting in Raleigh, NC, feel free to Contact Us. Established in 1989, Wilson Property Management, Inc. (WPM) is a full service management company offering both homeowner association and rental management.