Questions to Ask Potential Landlords
Use the questions below as a jumping off point for what you should be asking potential landlords. You can donload a copy of this list by clicking here.
- Describe the apartment. How many rooms and what are their sizes?
- How many closets? Is there additional storage space?
- How long has the place been on the market? (If it's been on for months, you may want to take extra precaution.)
- Does the landlord or a maintenance person live on the premises?
- How close is the apartment to public transportation?
- What are the neighbors like? Are the other tenants in the building single, married, or families? Professionals or students?
Fees and Deposits
- What am I required to pay up front? First month’s rent? Last month’s rent? Security deposit?
- How much of the deposit is refundable?
- Is a credit check required?
- Is a guarantor required?
Lease Dates and Terms
- How long is the lease? Start date? End date?
- Is the lease collective (all roommates are responsible for the rent to be paid in full so if someone moves out, everyone else picks up their share) or individual (you pay for your portion of the apartment regardless of another roommate’s status)?
- Is subletting allowed?
- What is the cost of breaking the lease?
- When is rent due?
- How much are late fees, and when are they applied?
- What forms of payment do you accept for rent?
- Will a deadline extension be granted for a financial aid delay?
- What time are keys available on the first day of the lease?
- Is the locking system electronic access only? If I prefer or need to use a hard key, is that possible?
Utilities and Amenities
- What kinds of safety systems are provided (sprinkler system, fire alarms, or intrusion alarms)?
- What utilities are included in the rent?
- Is there parking available? Is a parking permit required?
- Is there a laundry facility? How much does it cost? When is it open?
- Where is the nearest grocery store?
- Is there a gym? What are the hours? Does it cost extra to use?
- Are all units individually metered for their utilities?
- What appliances are included in the unit?
- Are there carbon monoxide detectors in the apartment?
- Is there lead paint in the apartment? (households with children)
- Is the hot water heater shared between apartments or stand alone per unit?
- How large is the hot water heater?
Policies and Procedures
- What kind of notification is provided prior to apartment entry?
- What is the proper way to make a maintenance request?
- How quickly will maintenance requests be handled?
- Is there an emergency maintenance contact?
- Is there a preventative maintenance program? How is it set up?
- Is there a timely lock-out service?
- What is the policy on guests?
- Are pets allowed? (if you already own a pet or have the desire to get one)
- Are there any limitations on decorating the apartment?
- Is renters insurance required?
- Is there an incident reporting log for the apartment community?
- What type of crime issues have been reported in the area?
- What do I do with my trash and recycling? When is it picked up?