This is a sponsored guest post.
Renting out a house for the first time is an exciting moment and a real learning opportunity. Need questions to ask when renting a house/a checklist?
Well, as you consider if the property is right for your needs, ask these 11 questions to a potential landlord or property agent who will be taking you through the viewing process.
What questions to ask when renting a house?
Q1: Which utilities are included in the rent, and how much do they cost?
Properties with all utilities included do exist. They are often marketed as “all bills paid.” You just have to write out one check to the property manager. Such properties tend to be multiple units oriented towards students where several apartments may share the same electric meter.
There are some rental apartments where some utilities are included but with limits. For instance, the landlord caps the water. The foremost common arrangement is where the cheapest utilities are thrown in, such as sewage and garbage. Also, watch out for rental properties that don’t include any utilities at all.
Q2: Will the apartment be fully-furnished, partly-furnished, or completely unfurnished?
Are you young and not tied down to one area? Well, young adults prefer furnished or partly furnished properties. Older adults with families may be looking for an unfurnished property since they will be likely moving with their furniture. If you’re looking forward to shopping for your apartment, you can opt for a partly furnished property with functional furniture or appliances.
Q3: What is the landlord’s policy on upgrades such as decorations or paintings?
As one of the good questions to ask when renting a house, make it your top priority. You may undertake many reversible upgrades on the property, such as experimenting with a fresh coat of paint or adding hanging shelves.
Rental renovation projects are currently hot —just view Youtube videos on this topic to find out what we’re talking about. Additionally, there are many products dedicated to tenants, such as stick-on subway tiles for the kitchen. Having this information ahead of time will save you many headaches and prevent you from losing the security deposit.
Q4: Can I rent out the apartment with a roommate?
It’s vital to find out if the landlord allows you to share the property with other roommates. If this is the case, they may bestow on you the responsibility for ensuring that the entire rent amount is collected on time and fully paid. Some apartments have policies on how long a guest can stay. You can find out more about this in this post.
Q5: Does the apartment allow pets or impose weight restrictions?
Some apartments have policies against residents keeping pets. It’s crucial to find out the type of pets they allow. For instance, the property may have weight restrictions on dogs. Some commonly banned breeds include German Shepherds, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, or Pit Bull Terriers.
Don’t have a pet? It’s still vital to save this question as part of the questions to ask when renting a house for the first time.
Q6: What’s the parking situation?
More often than not, parking spaces are limited in highly populated areas and apartment blocks. It’s imperative to inquire about the number of parking spaces available per house and confirm that they are unoccupied and clearly marked.
Verifying this will help you prevent further volatile conflicts with other tenants and the landlord down the line. If there are no parking spaces, you may need to incur the extra cost of public parking, and it’s important to weigh it in your monthly rent calculations. It’s vital to mark this question as you collect questions to ask when renting a house.
Q7: Who are the other people occupying the rest of the rental units?
If you’re relocating to the rental property with your family, get a handle on your future neighbors. You may discover that most of the units are occupied by students who may be cohabiting with roommates. This may be particularly useful if you plan to relocate with a young family. You need to plan for nights when they might be disturbances from parties.
Q8: Are storage lockers available, or where can you store your bicycle?
Commuting to work on your bicycle may be something you plan to do, or you are already doing. You may also have a bicycle that you plan on riding during the weekend as part of your exercise regime.
The rental property will need to be bike-friendly, and unfortunately, this is one of the questions that people skip when considering good questions to ask when renting a house for the first time. For instance, if you will be storing your bicycle inside your unit, it could be inconvenient if you live on the top floors. If there is an outdoor storage installation for bikes, check that the bicycles are well protected and not subject to thieves or harsh elements that may cause rusting.
Q9: Which security systems have been installed? Who monitors the security cameras?
Evaluate the situation on the locks. While the main door may have a solid lock, you may also prefer an additional lock for the main bedroom doors to protect your valuables if you have friends or cleaners over.
Ask if all locks are working as they should be. While digital smart locks may be attractive, it’s also crucial to ascertain that they are regularly maintained and have their batteries replaced.
Security cameras alone can’t prevent security incidents. It’s important to ask if they are constantly monitored and if the apartment block provides a guard. Also, evaluate if open doors or windows provide an easy entry method for would-be thieves. You may even inquire about the security challenges the rental property has dealt with in the past.
Q10: What’s the policy on issuing a notice for the move-out-date and breaking the tenancy agreement before it expires?
Depending on your situation, there might be a probability that you may need to move out early and on short notice. The landlord should be willing to answer questions about the penalties involved when you try to move out without providing proper notice. Keep in mind that the period required to give notice should also correspond to the length of the lease period.
Q11: What’s the policy on the security deposit, and in which instances can you lose it?
It’s not uncommon to find landlords that ask for a one-month security rent deposit and at least two months’ worth of rent upfront (the first month’s and last month’s rent).
You should inquire about the first move-in costs to ensure that you have the required funds and avoid disappointments later. Find out the provisions that are in place to ensure that you get the money back and the conditions where you may lose it.
According to the law, the landlord should not use the security deposit. They must deposit it and pay interest to the tenant after every 12 months. But this is not applicable if you rent out the property for less than one year.