When looking for a new house or apartment to rent, you need to be as pragmatic as possible. While you might not be able to find your dream home as a renter, you still deserve to find a nice place to live. When looking at new space, make sure to ask thorough questions so you know the situation you’re walking into. Here are some questions to ask before moving in.

Why did the last tenant move?

Usually, an apartment is available for straightforward reasons. For example, the lease may have expired, and the tenant chose not to renew it. You want to make sure that there wasn’t any reason that made the last tenant jump ship almost immediately. Ask for contact info for the last or current tenant. If they give you strong evidence not to rent from this landlord, you should heed their advice. 

What sort of problems have occurred here?

“Problems” is a rather broad word. So, you should make sure that you get as specific as possible if the landlord seems unwilling to answer. Ask about things like infestations or issues with the heating and cooling. You don’t want to move into a place that is anything but hospitable to you. While no place will be perfect, you should still make sure you have as much information as possible regarding the integrity of the building.

What all will I pay for?

Fees for tenants can vary from apartment to apartment. Some places just charge for rent, while others will have tenants cover a combination of gas, electric, and water. Make sure you know exactly what expenses fall to you. It’s not a pleasant experience to have unexpected charges showing up on your bill.

Will you handle repairs?

Most landlords and tenants have an agreement in which any maintenance problems will be handled by the landlord (or through a hired technician). Make sure that you get this cleared up with your landlord. Should you run into problems with things like plumbing, you want to make sure that it doesn’t come out of your pocket.

What is expected of me?

Staying in someone else’s building is a privilege, not a right. As a tenant, you need to adhere to your landlord’s rules. Your landlord will have policies regarding rental payment due dates and noise levels. If you can’t adhere to these, then you won’t be able to rent from most landlords. On the other hand, if a lease agreement seems very unreasonable to you, you should decline renting. You should always do comparison shopping among different residences. Don’t go for the first one you see immediately. Instead, you should look around and see which one would suit you best. 

Apartment-hunting is intense, but you need to do all you can to make sure you find the right place to live. By asking your landlord as many questions as possible, you can help guarantee that you’re moving into the right place.  

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