Top 10 Questions to Ask at a Showing
We all know apartment hunting can be both stressful and tedious. To make sure you find your perfect home, Millan Enterprises leasing department has compiled a list of questions to ask when viewing a house.
- Are utilities included?
Utilities may or may not be included in the cost of rent, depending on the building or company. It is common for water to be factored in with the monthly rent charge, but, the tenant may be responsible for electricity and gas. If you have questions regarding monthly billing for utilities not included, it is best to contact your local provider for an estimate.
2. How much will it cost to move in?
The process to move in differs from company to company. Be sure to ask:
- Do you require a security deposit? If so, how much?
- Is there an application fee or administrative fee?
- Are there any additional fees to be paid before the lease is signed?
3. What is the surrounding area like?
The best way to ensure you rent a property that you feel safe in, is to check the crime statistics and scope out the surrounding neighborhoods. Prior to your showing, Millan Enterprises suggest you research the neighborhood and surrounding areas for crime rates, school zones, and community location. During your showing, your leasing agent should be able to speak more on the closest parks and recreation for your convenience.
“We recommend driving by the property during the day and night to get a better idea of how the neighborhood functions and the way traffic flows .”Christina Hayes, Millan Enterprises, Office Manager
4. What is the parking like?
Understanding the parking situation is important, especially if you share a parking lot with other tenants. Some areas require parking fees or permits while other locations allow you to park wherever you like.
5. Can I make any changes to the property?
It is understandable that you may want to add a personal touch to your potential new home. But, before you start choosing paint colors or deciding where to hang your favorite painting make sure to speak with the landlord or property management company about the policies regarding decorating.
6. Are there any penalties for breaking the lease ?
Sometimes, life happens and you find yourself needing to break your lease contract. It’s best to ask what the policy is for terminating your lease. While most landlords allow early termination from your lease, you need to be prepared for any financial obligations.
7. Do you allow pets? If so, are there any breed restrictions or pet fees required?
We understand that your pets are family too, so it is important to find out what the policy is. If the rental home or apartment does allow pets, find out if there is a pet deposit, restrictions on the number of pets, as well as any breed restrictions.
8. Do you offer renewal options?
Some landlords or property management companies have certain guidelines regarding their renewal process. Unfortunately, some may or may not notify of your lease expiration date, so its best to know your options early. In many instances, its common for the tenant to have the option to sign another long term contract or choose to go month to month.
9. How are repairs and maintenance managed?
Some properties will have an on-site maintenance staff manager or provide you with a number to call for maintenance issues. Make sure to ask how and when an emergency should be reported.
“Here, at Millan Enterprises , we strive to complete any work order issue within 24-48 hours. If we are unable to do so, we make sure to stay in contact with the tenant and provide all possible updates.”Sarah Perry, Millan Enterprises, Maintenance Coordinator
10. How often will my rent increase ?
It is common for rent to increase each year you renew your lease contract. This is in majority due to, inflation. If you plan to stay long-term, figure out how often the rent will increase and by how much.
Check out this great article we shared with tenants in 2019 regarding rent increases to find out more.
These are just a few of the many questions you can ask during a showing. Check out our Pinterest Board for a great rental tips, including an apartment checklist to bring with you during apartment tours. This can help make sure you find the perfect home that checks all of your priority boxes!