When finding a place to rent, you might experience fear and excitement. You don’t want to live in an undesirable neighborhood and you definitely need to understand the lease you will be signing and all its requirements. Outside of being curious about the price and basics, there are a few important questions you should ask a property manager before you sign a lease.
1. Are utilities included? If so, which ones?
Sometimes certain utilities are covered by the owners or Home Owners Associations with a rental property. Make sure you understand, and that your lease indicates, exactly who will be responsible for the utilities.
2. What happens if I have a maintenance issue?
This is an important subject to understand when signing a lease. Property Management companies most often have their own maintenance people who takes care of all their properties. Make sure you know who you need to call if you run into a maintenance issue.
3. How much will I be paying in upfront costs if I sign the lease?
Have the Property Management Company detail the costs upfront before signing. Usually it is a security deposit and one month of rent up front. When pets are allowed there is also usually an additional pet deposit.
4. Do you allow pets? If so, do you have a fee and guidelines?
A lot of us can’t live without our beloved pet(s). However, if this is important to you, make sure you know the pet policy before signing the lease because you don’t want Rufus left out in the cold. On another note, maybe you don’t want to live in a house that had pets prior to you living there. Either way, make sure you understand the pet policy.
5. Is my rent prorated?
If your move-in date is other than the first of the month, ask if that month will be pro-rated to insure you are not charged for the days you’re not in the property.
6. What is the parking situation?
Sometimes there is no designated parking for rental properties. Some rental situations require paid parking or parking in a parking garage. Make sure you’re comfortable with the parking requirements.
7. Under what circumstances are you able to break the lease?
You can ask this for both you and the property manager. When can they decide the lease is terminated early and if something comes up, are you able to terminate the lease early and if so, are there costs involved?
8. Can I sublet?
Life is unpredictable and you never know what could randomly pop up. These changes could involve you needing to remove yourself from the lease. However, if that isn’t an option, find out if subletting is an option.