50 Questions to Ask Your Potential Landlord

You’ve made a list of amenities you need, you’ve determined what neighborhood you want, and you’ve set your rental budget. Now it’s time to tour apartments and meet potential landlords. Before you choose an apartment, however, you need answers to a long list of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential landlord or current tenants questions so you’ll get the answers you need to help ensure you get the perfect apartment.

Take a look at the following list of 50 questions, and see which ones are important for you to get answered:

  1. How much is the rent?
  2. How long is the term? One year? Six months?
  3. How much is the deposit, and is the deposit refundable?
  4. What are the consequences and fees if I break my lease early?
  5. What is the application process?
  6. What is the application fee?
  7. Will I need a co-signer or any recommendations?
  8. What is included in a background check?
  9. Is the credit check a hard or soft inquiry?
  10. Which utilities am I responsible for?
  11. What is the average cost of utilities for a particular unit?
  12. What appliances and/or furnishings are included? If any, are these listed in the lease?
  13. What amenities are included? Gym, pool, common areas? Do any of these come with a fee?
  14. Are there any common areas I can reserve for a private event?
  15. When will an apartment be available?
  16. Can you hold an apartment for 1-2 weeks until I’m available?
  17. Do I get a discounted rental price if I sign a longer lease?
  18. Do you prorate rent if I move in mid-month?
  19. What payment methods do you accept? Automated online payments? Checks?
  20. What is the fee if I pay my rent late?
  21. Do I have a grace period before I’m charged a late fee?
  22. What is your policy for subletting and for listing apartment on sites like Airbnb?
  23. What is your pet policy? Is there a pet deposit or monthly pet fee?
  24. What is the parking policy? Is parking on-site? Where do my guests park?
  25. Are there any guest restrictions?
  26. What is the apartment maintenance policy?
  27. What is the typical turn-around time for maintenance issues to be resolved?
  28. Must I be present in my apartment for a maintenance worker to fix an issue?
  29. What repairs am I responsible for?
  30. Has this apartment had any pest issues?
  31. What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?
  32. Have any apartments or vehicles been broken into?
  33. If there are regular inspections, how much notice do you give before you enter the premises?
  34. Am I allowed to hang pictures, shelves, etc. on the walls or make any other customizations like painting walls or cabinets?
  35. How is the cell reception?
  36. Is the apartment noisy? Trains nearby, pool right outside a window, children next door?
  37. Is there a doorman or superintendent who accepts deliveries if I’m not home?
  38. Is a property manager always onsite?
  39. Does the landlord and/or property manager live in the building or nearby?
  40. Is there public transportation nearby?
  41. How far is the closest grocery store, drugstore, hospital, gas station, etc.?
  42. What kind of heating/air is in the apartment?
  43. Do all the lights, windows, faucets, appliances, and door locks function as they should?
  44. Is there a waiting list for this apartment?
  45. Do you change the locks between each tenant?
  46. What happens if I get locked out of my apartment? Is there a fee for someone letting me back in?
  47. Is there any construction planned for the building and/or surrounding buildings in the near future?
  48. What are my options for lease renewal, and how far in advance should I notify you to renew or non-renew my lease?
  49. Describe your ideal tenant.
  50. Would you live here?

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Kalee Cowan is a graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Rural Studies: Writing and Communication. She is a writer, a baker, and a customer service representative for an insurance agency in her South Georgia hometown. When she is not working, she is attending concerts, reading an always growing list of books, and spending time with her family. You can find her on Instagram and Pinterest.

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