Searching for a new apartment is an exciting process—but it can also be incredibly stressful. Sure, we all want a place that has enough space to fit all of our stuff, but there are some other important questions to consider before making the big move.
Looking at a prospective apartment online or in a renters guide only tells you part of the story. So, how do you make sure you find the right place? Well, before you put that pen to paper to sign a lease, here are some key questions to ask your future landlord or property manager:
Since every building is different with different owners, it is important to find out what things are (and are not) your responsibility at your new place of residence. Do you have to pay for utilities? What about any repairs that you end up needing to have done? Are cable, internet, and other services already set up, or do you have to do it yourself? Knowing exactly what is expected of you before you move in not only helps make the moving process go more smoothly, but it also enables you to avoid potential problems, unplanned expenses and conflicts down the road.
Parking can be a big issue at any apartment, particularly if you live in a big city. And as anyone who has spent an hour circling around the block to trying to find a parking spot knows, it can make or break your living experience. Some apartments may offer a parking space with the unit, either as part of the rent or for an additional fee. If not, find out how street parking is, whether a parking permit is needed, or if there is a garage nearby that you can use.
Before your landlord hands over the keys, make sure that you check out the surrounding neighborhood and assess the safety and security of your building. Doing a little outside research to find out about the level of crime in the area is definitely a good idea, too. Use our Common & Costly Claims tool to find out who’s claiming what in your ‘hood. Even if the apartment seems to be a steal, finding a safe place to live is a much bigger priority.
Finding the right apartment can take some time, so don’t feel pressured or discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. There are plenty of apartments out there, so if something about an apartment or landlord just doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away. Doing your research and finding out as much as you can about the apartment beforehand will help you find the best apartment possible and get the most out of your living experience.
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