What is the maintenance policy of the property?
Be familiar with the maintenance policy in case a piece of equipment or an appliance breaks, the lawn needs mown or there is snow on the sidewalk. Some of these may be the tenant’s responsibility, and others may be fixed by the landlord. Be sure to get the landlord’s emergency maintenance phone number and keep it close by.
Are there any fees I need to know about?
Many landlords require a security deposit or the first and last months’ rents up front. There may also be a small fee for applying to the apartment or home. Be sure to ask if this fee is refundable if you are not approved.
How is rent paid?
Ask your landlord whether they require rent to be paid in cash, check, money order or allow online payment. Some payment options may require a fee for doing so.
Is this a long-term lease or a month-to-month option?
Most leases will be for a year, meaning many renters will require you to pay for the summer months even though you might not be in the residence. Some landlords will allow the lease to extend on a month-to-month basis after the end of the lease.
Is parking included?
If you have a car, get a feel for driveways on the property or city parking zones nearby. Be sure to ask if your apartment or house requires parking permits.
What utilities am I responsible for?
Some landlords pay for certain utilities and include them with rent, while some may not. Ask if cable, internet, gas, electric, trash or sewage are included with rent. Become aware of what utilities you pay and what utilities are included.
What are the guest restrictions?
Though an overnight guest should be okay, some landlords might not allow other people to stay in the property for a longer period of time, typically longer than two weeks.
What is the pet policy?
Many apartments or homes have a strict pet policy. Some allow any animal with a deposit or fee, some do not allow any pets at all. In addition to feeding and sheltering your furry friend you may need to pay a monthly pet fee.
What is the late rent policy?
Many landlords allow a three or four day grace period before rent is deemed late. After rent is considered late, the tenant may be charged a late fee and threatened with eviction.
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