During an apartment tour, the landlord or property manager is sure to highlight all the best features of the place, from recent renovations and new appliances to community amenities like an outdoor pool. While all these bells and whistles can be attractive, you’ll still want to know the real deal on an apartment so you can feel confident it’s the perfect place for you. Ask the following questions at your next apartment walkthrough to make sure you’re getting a comprehensive overview of the place you’re renting.
Questions to ask when renting an apartment
When you’re getting ready to rent an apartment, there are several things to consider before committing to a space or making arrangements to move in. As you begin taking virtual tours or visiting units in-person, having answers to the must-ask questions on this checklist will provide clarity and eliminate surprises later on.
1. What are the terms of the lease?
Some of the most important questions to ask before moving into an apartment relate to the specific terms of the lease. Digging into these details is imperative for figuring out whether the apartment is a good fit and whether you’re prepared to take on the responsibilities of renting.
Related questions include: Is there an option for month-to-month renewal, and/or will the rent increase after the first year? How are fees assessed for late payments? How far in advance do you need to give notice that you’re moving out, and what is the penalty for breaking the lease early? What are the policies on subletting, long-term guests, and pets?
Reading through the contract may answer many of these questions, but if there’s any lingering confusion or concerns, it’s best to discuss everything with the property manager.
2. What utilities are included?
As you’re creating an apartment budget, understanding what your rental payment covers is crucial in determining affordability. You’ll need to ask what services are included with your rent, like water, gas, electricity, or even internet. For utilities you’ll be in charge of, be sure to ask how those costs are calculated, and what tenants typically pay per month — many properties have figures on the average utility payments per unit, just ask for them!
Knowing what bills you pay when renting an apartment will not only help you get your finances in order, but it’ll set healthy expectations and help you budget accordingly.
3. How are repairs handled?
Dealing with a broken stove or burst pipe definitely isn’t ideal, but various maintenance issues are bound to come up, even in a brand new space. Part of your apartment checklist should take into account how your landlord handles repairs, especially those considered emergencies.
To protect yourself and prevent misunderstandings, it’s crucial to ask these questions before you make plans to move in. Getting these answers in advance will mean fewer headaches when things go wrong and greater trust that your building has your back in a bad situation.
4. Is the apartment furnished?
Did you know that certain rental properties offer furnished apartments? This can be a great option for first-time renters, but keep in mind the rent may be a bit higher, or there could be a clause in the lease about the condition of the furniture when you move out.
While most spaces are likely to stick to the essentials (bed, dresser, table, and sofa), others might provide extra decor (curtains, lamps, mirrors, or artwork). When you’re touring an apartment, it’s smart to ask the landlord if any of the furniture comes with the rental.
And if you’ll be in an unfurnished space, remember that CORT can help! With CORT, you can turn any apartment into a furnished one. Simply create a furniture subscription package for a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment, and rent what you need for the duration of your apartment lease.
5. What’s the community like?
It’s important to know what the community is like at a prospective apartment complex. If you’ll be living alone or relocating to a new city, meeting people might be a priority, so you’ll want to find a space that has opportunities to connect.
Every property you check out will have its own feel with regards to community engagement; some complexes may host events and activities on a weekly or monthly basis, but that isn’t always the case. To make sure the apartment will meet all of your needs, ask the management about what sort of get-togethers or meetups are available to residents there.
Make any apartment a furnished apartment
There’s a lot of ground to cover before you’re ready to sign a lease, but by utilizing these questions to ask when renting an apartment, you can gather important information for your decision-making process. And once you’ve found the right apartment for you, the next step will be furnishing your space. With CORT’s high-quality pieces and top-notch furniture rental delivery and set-up service, you can make yourself at-home wherever you go!