Finding an apartment is a difficult task as it is. However, finding a good landlord is even harder. Below is a list of questions that everyone should ask a potential landlord. It will save you a lot of trouble later.
1. What is included in the rent?
This question is extremely important. You want to get complete clarification on what is included. Do you have to pay for your own heat and hot water? This will cost a substantial amount in the winter if you live somewhere that is cold.
2. Who is responsible for maintenance or any damage that happens in the apartment?
Some landlords hold you responsible for repairs that are needed inside your actual apartment. This is also important to know what they will pay for. If a repair is small or seem insignificant to you, they make pay to repair it themselves. This is a great money saving tip.
3. What happens if the refrigerator, stove, or dish washer breaks?
Again, an important question simply because in some states (like Massachusetts) the only thing that a landlord needs to provide is a stove. So, if the refrigerator or dish washer breaks, they do not legally have to replace it. This is extremely important to know before you move in.
4. Is a parking spot assigned to this apartment?
It is important to know if you will have a permanent parking spot. This could become a huge problem if parking spots are not assigned and you may be forced to park on the street.
5. Do any children or pets live in the building?
This question tells you how much noise you will have to deal with. If you prefer a quiet building and it is filled with pets and young children the apartment might not be right for you. However, if you have children it could be the ideal building for you.
6. Why did the last tenant move?
This question speaks volumes for the landlord. They can either answer this question in a positive or negative tone. If they say that they moved on to a building more suitable for them, then you can take that as a positive answer. If however, they say that they had a conflict with them, then you may want to reconsider the landlord.
7. Is it a legal apartment?
Many apartments can be rented and not be legal apartments. This means that they can be unsafe with loose wires, a dangerous heating system, or incorrect fire exits.
8. Do you have any long term tenants?
The best way to find a good landlord is if they have long term tenants. Good landlords tend to keep their apartments full. Bad landlords on the other hand have many short term tenants.
9. Who is responsible for trash, snow removal, and yard maintenance?
This question seems simple but it is extremely important. Some landlords do absolutely no work on their property. You may be required to either snow blow or shovel your parking spot and the driveway. If the landlord does not have a dumpster, you may have to pay for city trash bags which can be extremely expensive. They are typically $8.00 for 5 bags. If the land lord does not take care of yard maintenance one of the tenants will have to mow the lawn.
10. What is allowed on the property?
This question applies to barbeque’s to recreational vehicles. Some landlords do not allow barbeque’s of any kind on their property. The same goes for recreational vehicles and children’s toys. It is important information for you to know before you make a decision on moving in.