So, you’ve looked at all the options, weighed the pros and cons, and decided that you want to rent an apartment. Maybe the cost of buying one outright is too high, or you’re only going to be at the place you’re at for a short period of time. Whatever your reasons might be for renting an apartment, there are some things that you need to clear up with your landlord before you set up camp in it.
1. How much is the rent really, and what is included in it?
This might sound like an obvious thing, but a lot of folks forgo the rent discussion for too long. Before you move forward, you need to ask your landlord exactly how much rent you have to pay each month, and what the amount you’re paying entails. Basically, this means confirming whether the rent covers the cost of utilities you’ll be using, or whether you’ll have to pay for them separately. There might be a few different costs such as maintenance, water and electricity, so make sure you know what your rent covers.
2. Is your agreement based on a month-to-month deal, or is it a more long-term commitment?
Some landlords are willing to lower the rent prices if you’re willing to sign up for say a year or so in advance. Others might want to renew your lease on a monthly basis. This might be a little bit tricky; because monthly agreements usually mean that the landlord is either looking for higher paying tenants, or looking to sell the property outright.
3. What appliances and furnishing (if any) are provided?
Some landlords have apartments for rent that have a fridge, air-conditioning, kitchen equipment and other utilities. Some others might give you an empty apartment, and you’ll have to get all of your own stuff. Make sure you confirm which one of the two you’re getting into, so you can make arrangements accordingly.
4. Are you allowed to have pets, roommates or visitors staying over?
There are a few landlords who are very specific about what you can or cannot do in your rented apartment. So if you have a pet, or have an active social life and want to have friends or family coming over to your place often, make sure you discuss your situation clearly with your landlord. Additionally, the apartment complex you are living in might have a few rules of its own regarding noise levels, visitors and even what kind of food you are allowed to bring into the premises.
5. What kinds of changes or personalization are you allowed to perform in the apartment space?
If you’re planning to put up posters, hang chandeliers, paint the walls, install lights or other things that either require you to drill holes or change existing electrical fittings, make sure you are allowed to do so by asking your landlord first.
6. What things or potential problems should you look out for, and whom should you contact in case something happens?
If there’s a particular time when the water supply runs or a specific time period when there are power cuts in the apartment complex where your rented flat is, you need to know. In addition, ask your landlord for a list of a few people whom you can contact, such as electricians or plumbers, in case something goes wrong.
Make sure you tick off all of the questions on this checklist so you have a clear idea of what you’re getting into before you move into your new space. The apartment itself and its surroundings have a huge impact on your day-to-day life, so don’t rush into anything that you haven’t thoroughly vetted beforehand. Good luck, and happy hunting!