You’ve started searching for a new apartment and you have started visiting communities to learn more. You are excited to see the apartment and possibly sign a lease. Before you make your final decision, make sure to ask these important questions about the lease first, and then understand the ins and outs of the community you want to live in.
Here is a list of things you have to know before you decided on your next home:
1. Where Can you Park Your Vehicle(s)?
How many vehicles do you and potential roommates have? Do you have a garage? Is there a parking lot? Is the parking lot reserved or open parking? How many spots do you get? Do you have things other than a vehicle you need to park or store such as a trailer, boat, or recreational vehicle? Can you park on the street? If you’re parking on the street, do you know if there are days that street parking isn’t allowed? Parking can be a stressful situation if you aren’t prepared or know what to expect. Weigh out your options and your needs and make sure any roommates you may live with agree before you sign a lease.
2. How Do you Contact Maintenance?
Whether a doorknob breaks or your heat stops working in the dead of winter, how do you contact maintenance? Is there emergency maintenance available after hours or on weekends/holidays? Do you call, email, or submit a request online? Knowing what to do ahead of time can alleviate stress that can arise when something in your home needs a repair.
3. When is Rent Due, and how do you pay it?
What day of the month is rent due? Are you required to pay with a check or money order? Do you drop off rent in an office, a drop box, or through the mail? Can you pay online? Knowing what your rent paying options are ahead of time can prevent unintentional and unexpected late fees or misunderstandings.
4. How will you communicate with staff and how will they communicate with you?
If you have a concern with a neighbor or have a question about your lease, who will you contact and how? Can you send an email? Do they prefer a phone call? When they need to contact you about inspections, renewing your lease, community events, and other information, how will they reach out to do you? Make sure they have all of the required information and any other relevant contacts such as your work phone number or an emergency contact just in case.
5. What are the community rules and policies?
Are there quiet hours you need to respect? Are visitors required a parking pass? Can visitors bring pets? Make sure you are aware of any rules, policies, or expectations that will affect you throughout your time living in your new apartment. Understanding the culture of your community can prevent unhappy neighbors, unexpected fines, and lease violations.
Once you know where you can park, how to pay rent, how to contact the office and maintenance, and what rules the community has, you are one step closer to moving into a new apartment! Make sure you ask specific questions about your lease and have done a thorough walk in inspection before signing a lease.