Recently my husband and I rented a beautiful home. We discovered that while looking a lot of questions were coming to mind. Having been in the mortgage business this should have been
an easy task but the excitement can overwhelm you so I made a list of questions to ask the
Landlord/Property Managers. Many of these questions are extremely vital as they can
really affect you down the line.
Application fee. Many properties will ask for an application fee to cover costs of the credit report
and any verifications necessary. Be sure to ask the amount upfront and find out how much for
each person residing in the rental property. Some will ask only one fee per couple while others
charge additional amounts for the spouse etc. so it is very important that you clarify exact amounts. Remember that these are typically non-refundable so narrow down your search first
or it can get very costly.
Deposit. The deposit amount is usually equal to the rent amount but do not assume this. Make
sure to find out about the various types of deposit as well. For example, there may be a security
deposit, pet deposit (can be per pet), key deposit, cleaning deposit, and last months rent
Who owns property. Many rental properties are being rented by Property Managers rather than the
Landlord themselves. Do a little homework on the Property Managers to be sure they are reputable.
I would also check through your county recorder to be sure the property is not in foreclosure
especially if you are dealing with the Landlord direct. Property Managers give you an added level of
protection for this as they usually hold the security deposit. Many times a Landlord will go in
foreclosure and just walk away with the security deposit.
How are repairs handled. As with any home things will happen with normal wear and tear. Usually
there is a designated amount that anything over Landlord pays and anything under tenant pays.
You will want to find out the procedure for repair to the rental property. One thing happening
more recently is the Landlord/Property Manager may ask the tenant to get the repair done and
they will re-imburse the cost. This is not recommended as you will be putting money out of your own pocket upfront. If the rental property you fell in love with requires this be sure to get specifics in writing such as re-imbursement deadlines, who choses the repair company etc.
Who pays for the various uitilites, pool, and landscaping. This is important as it adds to your
monthly bills and with the utilties you will need to know which you are responsible for.
Do not be afraid to ask questions as this is where you will live. Be sure to check out the