Friday, July 11, 2014

What to ask when renting an apartment

Looking for a new apartment is perhaps the most exciting part of the moving process. It's easy to get carried away and sign on the dotted line when viewing an apartment in the right place for the right price. But ask the right questions and save yourself a world of trouble. 

It’s okay to ask about the previous tenant and why he or she moved out. This is also a good chance to ask about the neighbourhood, and how long other tenants have been in their units. Loyal tenants are a sign of a trusted property and an established community. 

How old is this building?

This is a useful question, particularly for buildings that may not have been built by bigger developers. The age of a building gives you an idea of how old the facilities and materials are, and helps you consider if the price of the rent is worth the possible maintenance involved. 

What utilities are included?

Most landlords are up front and let you know if water, association dues and electricity are part of or covered by the monthly rental. Sometimes, the owner uses this opportunity to sweeten the deal by offering a bundle or discount in the form of Wi-Fi. 

How long did the previous tenant stay? 

It’s okay to ask about the previous tenant and why he or she moved out. This is also a good chance to ask about the neighbourhood, and how long other tenants have been in their units. Loyal tenants are a sign of a trusted property and an established community. 

Do you have maintenance?

Ask if the apartment has on-call maintenance to address plumbing or wiring problems or to help with the installation of drape and curtain rods. If there's no in-house maintenance, ask for a recommendation. 

Does it flood?

While it's easy to research if a particular area is prone to flooding, it's also good to double-check with the landlord up front. If an area or property is flood free, the landlord will be happy to boast about it. You should also use this chance to ask what their policy is for “acts of God”. 


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