10 Apartment-Hunting Questions You Shouldn’t Forget

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of looking for a new place. But here are 10 apartment hunting questions you don’t want to forget to ask . . . or you’ll be kicking yourself later.

1. What Are the Lease Terms?

Make sure you know when you’ll be able to move in and how many months the lease is for. When is the rent due?  What happens if it’s late?  How much notice do you need to give?

2. What are the Move-In Fees and Deposits?

Do they require first and last months’ rent up front? What about security deposits?

3. What’s Your Pet Policy?

Trying to hide a dog or cat can be very costly for you down the road, so just talk about it. What are the deposits and fees?  What are the weight limits?

4. Is There a Guest Policy?

Some apartments are stricter than others: you might not be able to have a visitor for longer than two weeks. Ask!

5. Is Renters Insurance Required?

Renters insurance provides coverage for all of your property in the event of things like a fire, flood, and often even theft. You may be required to purchase it.

6. What’s Included in the Rent?

Some apartments include utilities and other amenities.  Others don’t.  Ask about water, gas, power, cable, fitness center, garages and parking.

7. What Amenities are There?

If you like to grill, or work out, or do laundry, or need a conference room once in a while, you better ask what you’ll have access to if you sign on the line.

8. What’s the Parking Situation?

Will you have a guaranteed parking space or will you be scrambling for street parking? Are garages available?

9. How Often Does Rent Go Up, and By How Much?

Lease renewals don’t always mention a rent increase, so ask what to expect if you renew.

10. What Security Features are There?

Is there a coded gate and plenty of light at night? What about security patrols? Are there video cameras? Have there been any break-ins recently?

Hot Tip: Check your wireless connection around the property before you sign a lease. 

Related: The best floor to live on 

See Also:  Rental walk-through checklist



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Libby McMillanA contributing editor and video producer at ApartmentGuide and Rent.com, Libby McMillan Henson has created award-winning content for radio, tv, print and digital for over two decades. Libby recently authored a book about her home base of Greenville, SC, and has also lived in Austin, San Francisco, Nashville, Boston and Sanibel/Captiva Islands. A lifelong traveler and photographer, Libby loves exploring new places and sharing her finds.

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