Searching for a new home to rent? Now is your opportunity to ask the landlord questions to better understand what you are committing to. Equally important to sell yourself to landlords, landlords must sell themselves to you.
We have put together a list of 25 questions to ask before you sign your lease.
It is important to pay attention to their manners when responding. Are they reluctant to answer? Do they have passion about their responses? These are many clues about the type of relationship you will have during your lease. Small hints whether they will be difficult and strict, or compassionate and understanding.
Questions About Rent & Money
- How much is rent?
- What payment methods will they accept for rent?
- Will they prorate first month rent? Learn about the benefits here.
- Can each roommate pay their own share of rent?
- How often will rent increase after lease expires?
- What is the fee if I pay rent late?
- What grace period is there before being charged a late fee?
- Is there a discount for multi-year lease?
Questions about Lease
- Can they explain the application process and renter screening criteria?
- What are the terms on the lease agreement?
- What happens if I need to break the lease? Or, extend the lease? Learn about your rights when landlords break a break.
- Will they be running a criminal background check, credit report and contacting previous landlords?
- What is their ideal lease duration?
- Which furnishings or appliances are included?
- What is the parking situation?
- What is their guest policy?
Questions if you have pets
- Are pets allowed?
- Are there any breed restrictions?
- What is their pet policy? Pet deposit, pet fee or monthly pet rent?
Questions about Utilities
- Which utilities am I responsible for?
- What is the average cost of utilities? High and low season.
Questions about Maintenance
- Who do I contact to handle maintenance?
- What is their policy for handling emergency maintenance and non-emergency maintenance?
- Who is responsible for landscaping? Snow removal?
Most important question!
- Would they live here?
We always recommend tenants to know their rights. Research your specific state laws and what landlords can or cannot do.
When negotiating with your landlord, it is best to bring up future requests now. If you know you might need to break the lease, have a conversation about that clause in the lease. Get it in writing before signing. Will you want the last month’s rent to be prorated? Negotiate that now.
Majority of landlords are caring people. What they don’t like are surprises. Have all the important topics covered before you sign. This list of questions to ask your landlord is a great starting point.