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Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease

Sooner or later, almost everyone becomes a renter.  When hunting for an apartment, we always want to be the first one to grab an amazing place. You will most probably want to sign the lease immediately. However, we would strongly recommend you to ask your future landlord some questions, so that there would be no unpleasant surprises in the future. What are the questions to ask your landlord before signing a lease? Check out our ultimate list.

Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease

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  1. Term of the lease. Will the lease be short or long-term? If the landlord is interested in a two-year lease while you’re ready for a year commitment, this may be a problem.
  2. How and when should you pay the rent? The terms can differ from one building to another, so you’d better ask this important question. Will you have to pay online or send a check to a specific P.O. Box? The landlord who only accepts cash should be a warning sign.
  3. Is there a grace period in case you are late with the monthly payment?
  4. Are any utilities included in the monthly rental payment? If no, what are the utilities you’d have to take care of? If you decide to rent this apartment, don’t forget to call each utility company (Internet cable, water, gas, electricity), and set up an account under your name.
  5. Find out all the information about the security deposit. What’s the amount and where will it be held? What about the interest?
    Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease

    Photo credit: bovinity via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

  6. In case you have a pet, or planning to have one, find out whether pets are allowed in the building. That’s why you should definitely ask the landlord about the pet policy.
  7. Are there any constructions planned for the building in the nearest future? The construction process can make too much noise, which would make you want to leave the apartment as soon as possible. Thus, it might be one of the most important questions to ask your landlord before signing a lease.
  8. What about the subletting policy? You may want to leave the apartment for some time. Some landlords would let you sublet the apartment for the period.
  9. You should also know everything about the guest policy. Most landlords don’t care about how long your guests are going to stay. But you should still ask the question, just to be on the safe side.
  10. Can I personalize the place and make some changes to the place? You might want to refresh the color of walls, or hang some pictures on them. It’s always good to know the limits where you should stop so that you would get your security deposit in the end.
  11. Speaking of the latter, what are the terms of your security deposit?
  12. Will there be regular inspections? Renting an apartment or house, you would want some privacy. Make sure the landlord is not planning to come to your place on a whim. When there’s a necessity of entering the apartment, you should be notified beforehand.
    Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease

    Photo credit: DoNotLick via Foter.com / CC BY

  13. Before you sing the lease, make a thorough inspection of the property, and take photos. You wouldn’t want to be accused of something that has been damaged before you moved in.
  14. Another question to ask your landlord before signing a lease is about how often the landlord changes the locks? Previous residents might have access to your new place.
  15. What are the reasons for not refunding your security deposit? That is definitely something you should ask.
  16. What if you might need to terminate the lease earlier? Will there be any fees if you find a replacement tenant?
  17. How does the landlord deal with general and emergency maintenance? You might really need some quick reactions to your call.

Having answers to these questions, you will know what to expect from living in the place you’re planning to rent.

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