Moving into a new rental apartment can bring up a lot of questions! While you’ll likely be able to figure out many of the answers to them on your own or by asking your neighbors (like where the closest grocery store is), there are some questions that you will want to make sure you’ve addressed with the landlord before you signing an apartment lease! Here are eleven questions you won’t want to forget!
1. What is the lease term?
Don’t just assume that your landlord expects you to sign the standard 12-month lease on your rental apartment. Many landlords prefer longer leases and some keep their tenants renting on a month-to-month basis. You’ll want to make sure that you’re locked into your lease for the amount of time that works right for your particular situation.
2. When is the unit available?
If you’ve toured a rental apartment and it feels like all systems are a go, get clear on a timeline with your potential new landlord. Many apartment communities have model units ready to show, but that doesn’t mean that they have units available for move-in. This will also help to determine the need for the next question!
3. Will the cost be pro-rated if the lease doesn’t start on the first of the month?
Most landlords require rent to be paid on the first of the month as a means to keeping things simple. If a unit won’t be available until the middle of the month, however, you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t paying for the time that you aren’t using the space! Before signing an apartment lease, discuss pro-rating the first month’s rent to reflect the discrepancy.
4. When is the rent due and how is it paid?
Again, it can be easy to assume that the monthly rent will be due on the first of each month. While this is often the case, it’s by no means set in stone. Each landlord will have their own ideas about when monthly rent is due and it will obviously be important for you to have a clear understanding on when that is. Additionally, ask your landlord how he/she accepts monthly rental payments. With cash apps like Venmo, PayPal and Apple Pay growing in popularity, getting your rent to your landlord might me much easier than you think!
5. What are the move-in fees?
Most landlords will require the first and last month’s rent for your rental apartment, along with a deposit or security fee of some sort (typically equal to a full month’s rent). Additionally, you may be expected to come up with money to cover an application fee, a pet deposit or fees to register your vehicle(s), among others.
6. What utilities (if any) are included in the cost of the rent?
This question is high priority! While many landlords will include the cost of water, basic cable and/or pest control (among others), not all landlords are created equally! Failure to understand exactly what you are financially responsible for can cause huge headaches down the line for you!
7. What is the pet policy?
If you want Fido to be a permanent fixture at your new rental apartment, you’ll want to make sure he’s welcomed with open arms! If you’re not a fan of furry companions, this information can be just as valuable. You likely won’t want to move in next to a neighbor whose dogs bark through the night. This is definitely something to ask about before signing an apartment lease.
8. What is the guest policy?
If you intend on having visitors at your place, you’ll also want to get clear on your landlord’s guest policy. Are overnight guests allowed? Where should your guests park?
9. What are the rules on personalization of the space?
You will likely want to add your own personal touches to your rental apartment that will make it feel more like home, but be sure to check with your landlord first. Painting the walls without permission or peppering them with unsightly holes could leave you without the return of your deposit at the end of your lease!
10. How are maintenance requests handled?
If something were to go wrong in your rental apartment, you’ll want to know how to handle it the best way to get it fixed properly and quickly. Make sure that your landlord has a protocol in place for any unexpected disasters.
11. Am I required to carry renter’s insurance?
While most landlords don’t require renter’s insurance, some do. Either way, it’s extremely inexpensive and well worth looking into as a means of protecting your belongings.
Looking for a Rental Apartment in Hattiesburg?
Hattiesburg Apartments has inside access to some of the greatest apartment communities in the Hattiesburg area, each with a reputable management team that will happily answer any questions you may have! Take a look through our available units today and contact one of our team members to find your new home!