Your apartment tour is your chance to learn everything there is to know about your potential first apartment. After talking to the landlord or leasing agent over the phone or in their office, you’ll want to ask them for a tour of the place. Apartment tours generally last no more than a half hour and let you get acclimated to the layout and ensure it fits your needs.
During your apartment tour, you’ll have the landlord’s (or more likely his agent’s) undivided attention. Don’t waste this opportunity to ask some crucial questions while you’re there!
- What are the nearby subway or commuter train lines?
- Where’s the nearest public transportation station?
- Where’s the nearest highway?
- How quickly can I get to a certain highway or street? During rush hour?
- What is the crime rate in this area?
- Are there any buildings nearby that leave lights on late at night?
- Are there trains or other loud noises nearby?
- How busy is the area at night?
- Does the unit contain hookups for laundry? If not, where is the closest unit or laundromat?
- What options are available for Internet and television?
- Are tenants allowed to paint? Put holes in the walls to hang photos?
- How new are kitchen appliances? Will any be replaced before move-in?
- When was the apartment’s last renovation or new carpet and paint?
- Will the apartment be painted? Any choice in color?
- How accessible is the building or the apartment complex? What security measures are used to control access?
- What demographic does the building rent to mostly? Singles, couples, families, elderly?
- What are inspections like before move-in? Upon move-out?
- Are pets allowed? Is there a monthly pet fee?
- Do they require a fee for the rental application? How quickly can the approval process move?
- Will the rental application pull credit history?
- Does the landlord have any specific rules against certain behavior? Smoking? Quiet hours?
- Do they require renter’s insurance? How do they verify?
- What is the penalty for breaking a lease?
Outside of your basic questions, consider adding some of these in during your apartment tour. This will help you make the most informed decision possible before selecting your first apartment! Any other must-asks during your tour? Leave your ideas in the comments.