Instead of waiting to discover the rules and guidelines after you’ve rented an apartment, asking questions ahead will save you from numerous arguments during your lease period. It’s never ideal to be surprised, especially regarding your living circumstances or finances. You will be glad you did it sooner rather than later.
But before diving into the questions to ask when renting an apartment, you should take a moment to ask yourself a question: where can I find renters insurance? It’s simple — contact a Surex insurance advisor today if you’d like to find the best renters insurance quotes in Ottawa and the surrounding areas.
Here’s a checklist of what to ask when renting an apartment:
Finances are usually the most significant consideration; therefore, it’s crucial to understand how far your money will stretch. Essential utilities such as heat, gas, and water are included in certain monthly rents. Others provide additional services such as cable and WiFi. Some policies only cover the roof over your head.
It would be best to have a precise answer on what your monthly rent will get you long before you rent an apartment. It’s not only valuable information, but it may also assist you in deciding if you’re choosing between similar apartments (hint: go with the one that gives you a bigger bang for your buck).
The methods of accepting rent payments and the flexibility with which such payments are due differ across landlords and management organizations. While you may believe that electronic payments will become the standard everywhere, many landlords still rely on paper checks that must be sent to their mailbox on the first of each month.
Depending on your financial situation—for example, if you aren’t paid monthly—you may want to look for an apartment where rent is paid by credit card or where you have some flexibility in terms of when you pay. Inquire about late rental payment fees, as some landlords or management organizations levy steep penalties if your rent is late, even by one day.
If you have a car, you’ll want to be aware of your parking alternatives (if any). Is parking included in the price? Is there an extra charge every month? What are your other choices if there is no parking at the building?
These are essential things to ask when renting an apartment because parking can add a significant amount to your rent, and if it isn’t included, you may be renting in an area with limited options. It’s crucial to know where you’ll park your car, and if the answer isn’t perfect, it’s preferable to know before signing on the dotted line.
Automatic rent renewal practices should be avoided, which may not come up in conversation but may be hidden somewhere in your contract.
Even though you sign a lease for a specific amount of time, some rental firms may automatically renew it after that period ends. They will only stop the renewal if you give them written notice that you will not remain (often required thirty days or more before the original lease term is up).
This can come as a shock to tenants who have never had an automatic renewal before, and it will force you to break your lease—an expensive endeavour. Inquire about automatic renewal before renting an apartment. And, if you don’t want to stay past your lease term (or want the option), set a reminder for yourself around two months before your lease expires to determine if you wish to vacate as planned or stay.
If you have a significant other staying over frequently, you’ll want to know if there are any specific regulations about when and how long guests can remain. Some rental firms have policies prohibiting visitors from staying for more than a few nights in a row, while others ask you to notify them of anyone who will be staying with you ahead of time.
If they are parking in a given lot, you may need to register their car as well. Knowing the guest policy is essential for ensuring that you do not inadvertently breach your lease terms and risk incurring fines.
Pet rules vary a lot from one apartment to the next. Even if you don’t have a pet right now, if you believe you might want to adopt one in the future, you should inquire about the policy for pet prior to renting an apartment. Are there any extra monthly fees? Are there any restrictions on breed, weight, or species?
Even with pet-friendly homes, you’ll often be required to pay a pet deposit which will be non-refundable to cover any potential damages. If you already have an animal companion, this should be at the top of your list of questions.
It’s only natural that you’ll require some form of maintenance during your rental period. In that case, find out how to submit a maintenance request. Also, find out how such requests are handled as soon as possible.
The requirements include how much warning you will get. It also has what to do if you require an emergency repair after hours or on a holiday. Also, inquire if you will be expected to contribute to the repair costs for non-emergency repairs.
Before the commencement of their lease term, some management companies or landlords require all tenants to obtain renters’ insurance.
Renters’ insurance, often known as tenants’ insurance, pays for replacing your items if they are damaged or stolen. It’s a good idea to have it regardless, and it can be had for a reasonable price, often less than $10 per month, but you should be aware if renters’ insurance is necessary. If that’s the case, you’ll most likely be required to provide proof of renters’ insurance before your move-in date, so you’ll need to plan.
Although the specifics of what you’re permitted to do. Though alterations are likely spelled down in your lease, it’s still a good idea to speak with your landlord about it. Find out what the rules are for things like painting, hanging art, and adding shelves, as well as any other design adjustments you may wish to make. It’s always better to ask for permission than to assume something is acceptable and then be punished afterward.
Don’t worry if you can’t make any changes: there are many ways to decorate your apartment without losing your security deposit.
Knowing what you’re getting into can be beneficial when it comes to your immediate neighbours. Your landlord or leasing agent won’t tell you much about the other tenants because the Fair Housing Act prevents them from doing so.
Still, they should be able to tell you whether they’re predominantly students, young professionals, or families—or a mix of all three. The tenant population may be significant to you if you’re seeking a building where you won’t be bothered if you play loud music or are looking for a facility where you can work or study from home in peace.
In addition to the above questions, thoroughly read your lease and identify other places you could benefit from further information.