If you’re in the process of renting a house, congratulations! This is an exciting time. But it’s also a time when you need to be extra careful. After all, you’re probably signing a lease which is a binding legal contract. Whether you’re looking to expand, downsize, or just relocate, it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions before signing a lease.
36 Questions to ask when renting a house:
- How long is the lease?
- How much is the rent?
- Are utilities included in the rent?
- If the utilities aren’t included, how much do they cost per month?
- What kind of maintenance or repair assistance does the landlord provide?
- Does the landlord live on site?
- How many people can live in the rental unit?
- Can I make changes to the apartment (e.g. paint, put up shelves)?
- Is there parking available? If so, how many spaces and how much more per month?
- What appliances are included (e.g., washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator)?
- Is furniture included or can it be purchased from the landlord?
- Are pets allowed on the property? If yes, are there any restrictions (e.g. size, number, breed)?
- Does the rental unit have air conditioning and/or heating? Who’s responsible for paying the monthly usage?
- How close is the rental unit to public transportation?
- What security measures are in place (e.g., gates, security cameras, burglar alarms)?
- Is there on-site storage (e.g., attic, basement, garage)? If so, is there an additional fee for use?
- How often does garbage pick-up take place and who is responsible for paying for it?
- Who takes care of lawn care and landscaping? Is there an additional fee for these services?
- Are there any conditions or fees for early termination of the lease?”
- Can the lease be renewed?
- How much is the security deposit?
- When is the rent due each month?
- Are late fees charged if the rent is paid late?
- Are checks or money orders accepted?
- To whom do I make the checkout?
- Where do I send the check for rent each month?
- When will the rent be increased each year, if ever?
- How much notice do I have to give before I move out?
- Is there a cleaning fee on the day I move out?
- Can furniture be moved in and out of the house?
- How long does it take for maintenance to be completed?
- Who do I contact for maintenance requests?
- How old is the furnace? Does it meet current safety standards?
- Does the house have a cable or satellite connection TV? Phone line connections? Internet connections?
- Can these services be installed by the landlord at the tenant’s expense?
- Are there any other restrictions on renting this house that I should be aware of (no loud music after 10 pm, no parking on the lawn)?
Frequently Asked Questions
When can you expect the security deposit to be returned once you vacate the property?
In most cases, the security deposit is returned within 30 days of the tenant vacating the property. However, in some cases, it may take a little longer due to the amount of work that needs to be done to prepare the property for the next tenant. If there’s damage beyond normal wear and tear, the security deposit may be used to cover these costs.
Under what circumstances may the landlord enter your apartment?
The landlord may enter the tenant’s apartment only under certain circumstances, which are stated in the lease agreement.
Generally, the landlord may enter the apartment only to make repairs, to show the apartment to prospective tenants, or if the tenant hasn’t paid the rent. In some states, the landlord may also enter the apartment to check on the tenant’s welfare if the landlord is concerned that the tenant isn’t taking care of himself or herself.
The landlord must give reasonable notice before entering the apartment and may not abuse his/her right to enter.
Does the landlord provide notice before entering the apartment?
The landlord is required to provide notice before entering the apartment, except in emergencies. Usually, the landlord either gives notice of entry in person or sends it by mail. The notice should state the date and time the landlord will enter the apartment.
If the tenant doesn’t want the landlord to enter the apartment, he/she should contact the landlord as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements.
No matter what your reason is for renting a home rather than buying one outright, it’s important to do your research and know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign! If you ask yourself these questions before you sign a lease, it will help set you up for success in your new home! We hope this article helps you begin your journey to a beautiful home.
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