Whether you are renting a home, apartment, condo, basement unit, single room, or more, here are some guidelines to consider when you make a selection. Know the amenities that available for the type of domicile you will be moving into by taking a tour, virtual or in person, of the actual or a model unit. Decide on the number of bedrooms, price range, and square footage you are looking to rent. The renter will be able to locate available units that meet those requirements.
Once you have finalized your decision, you can go over the leasing terms. The lease will specify the number of tenants that will be occupying the unit with you, the date when the lease starts, the rent amount and its due date, and duration of the lease.
Make sure you know if the utilities are covered or whether the tenant is responsible. Ask if the rent covers water, gas, and electricity bills. Also find out whether the unit includes heating/air conditioning, washer/dryer, furnishings, and cable/internet hookups. Will maintenance be included in the rent or will the tenant be responsible for costs associated with repairs?
Fees and Deposits
Find out if the security deposit or other deposits are required to secure a unit, and if they are non-refundable. Ask if renters insurance is required and who will be responsible for providing it. Also know if any additional taxes are payable by the tenant.
Parking and grounds
A tour of the premises gives an idea of the parking situation as the renter will explain where the available units are located. Find out what the costs are associated with reserving a parking space and general parking rules for the building (i.e. where guests can park for example). Tour the premise and find out if you have access to a gym, a pool, tennis courts, or other special amenities.
Pets and policies
If you are a pet owner, find out if pets are allowed. For smokers, ask if smoking is allowed. Know what the rules are for noise, entertaining, and redecorating within the unit. Check whether a premise is zoned for operating a home-based business.
Fines and liabilities
Find out what the tenant can be held responsible for and fines associated with breaking a rule. Each building had differnt mediation/arbitration policies for handling disputes. Some fines to ask about are charges for late payments, notice period for termination, and damages incurred during your stay. Bring up any additional concerns during an inspection report, which is agreed upon at the initial walk-through as the tenant and landlord verify the existing damages and condition of the unit prior to moving in (also checked upon moving out). Check for molds and lead paint on the premises or request an inspection. It’s good to read the fine print and understand the policies for each building as they can vary. These guidelines will help you get a clearer understanding of the property you will be renting prior to moving.