Suggested Questions for Landlords:
Tip: If the landlord says one thing and then you sign a lease that says something different - the lease controls. Get promises in writing!
- Do you take checks from all tenants in the unit, or just one check from the group?
- Can I pay my rent with a credit card?
- Do you accept online payments?
- Is there a convenience fee for online payments?
- Can I take a copy of the lease with me to review before I sign?
- Do I need to have someone provide a financial guaranty after I sign the lease?
- Would I be signing an individual lease, a joint and several lease, or a joint and several lease with individual rent responsibility?
- If the lease includes a partial month at the beginning and/or end (such as half of August, rather than the full month), what is the amount of rent I would pay during those partial months?
- When will I be expected to renew my lease?
- Am I permitted to sublet? What is the process? How much is the fee?
- What happens if my unit is not ready when my lease starts?
- Are there fees I would be required to pay in addition to the rent and security deposit?
- How much is the security deposit?
- What should I do to receive as much of my deposit back as possible?
- What utilities are included in the rent? If any are not included, what is an estimate of my monthly cost?
- How many parking places are available to the apartment? Is there a fee for parking?
- What appliances are provided?
- Is internet service included? If so, what is the speed of the internet?
- Is there a washer and dryer in the unit or facility? If not where is the nearest laundry facility? If there is a laundry room, how many washers and dryers does it have, and is it coin-op or is there an electronic payment system?
- Where is the nearest bus stop?
- Is a bus pass included in the rent?
- Is there a maintenance person on call 24/7? What is the emergency phone number?
- Is there any security in the building or in the area? Is security different during weekdays vs. weekends, or during the academic year vs. breaks?
- Are there exterior lights and are they working?
- Do all the bedrooms have smoke detectors? Are they hard-wired or battery operated? If they are battery operated, who is responsible for checking and replacing the batteries?
- Does the unit have an emergency sprinkler system? Who pays for the damage if the system is triggered?
- (For a house) Who is responsible for grass cutting? Snow removal? If they are the tenant's responsibility, what are the local rules about how often these need to be completed?
- If no one is in the apartment for the summer, can the utilities be turned off?
- Are there local or community rules? Where can I find those rules?