Six Questions To Ask Before Renting A New Place
Finding a new rental to call home can be a stressful experience. Often you are tempted to sign a lease without thinking through the consequences and asking the right questions. Yet before you commit yourself to a six to twelve month contract in a new place, there are certain questions that must be asked.
How much is rent?
The first question on everyone’s mind is, “How much is the rent?” While this may be the most pertinent question in regard to being able to afford a new place, you should also consider whether the rent covers utilities. If so, you should ask your potential rental agency which utilities will be covered and which utilities will be your responsibility.
How much is the fee if my rent is late?
Another question that should be broached with your future rental agency is the rent’s due date. You should also inquire as to whether there is a grace period if you happen to be late with the rent as well as what late fees will be required if and when a late payment occurs. This is especially important if your payment is automatically taken from your account, since it may result in a late payment if the day falls on the weekend or a holiday.
What appliances come with this rental?
When looking at a new place to rent, you should look into which appliances will be included with your rent. New rental homes may include refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry units or they may come with no appliances at all. Due to the cost of purchasing new appliances, this is an important topic to broach ahead of time.
What, if any, pets are permitted?
Another area of concern may be the pet policy in a new rental. If you already own a pet or would like to in the near future, you need to ensure your rental agency permits animals as well as the specific species and/or breeds they allow on the premises. Some agencies will permit you to own any pet as long as you list them on the lease. Other agencies may specify the type of pet you may own such as only dogs less than 50 pounds may live in the home. Each company maintains individual pet policies and if this is an important subject to you, it is necessary to discuss it in detail before moving in. If you are allergic to animals, this is also important to know beforehand to avoid any health problems.
Who maintains the landscaping?
While the typical maintenance on the house may fall to the rental agency, you need to clarify whether landscaping is included. You may be required to upkeep the front lawn or the agency may keep a staff of landscapers on hand to handle it. Ensure you understand your responsibilities in regard to landscaping and maintenance of the outdoors.
Can I change things within the rental?
Also, you need to discuss whether you are permitted to hang items on the walls within the rental, paint the walls or even upgrade the flooring. Don’t assume you can make changes within a rental home. It is always better to discuss this issue with the rental agency ahead of time to ensure you are on the same page in regard to changes. You might be able to upgrade items as long as they improve the home or the rental agency may require no permanent changes occur.
When you decide it’s time to rent a new place, ensure you ask as many questions as needed to be not only comfortable but knowledgeable about the lease you are about to sign. Renting a new place should be a joyful time and with prior planning, you should be able to enjoy your new space for years to come. Informational credit to UCCI Properties.