5 Important Questions To Ask Before Signing Your Lease

You’ve done all your research to find the perfect apartment – one that’s affordable and walking distance from your favorite Starbucks. You Googled “apartments near me,” you asked your friends, you scoured Apartments.com, and finally, you feel done. Ready to sign the lease. But wait! First you need to ask your leasing agent these 5 questions in order for your new apartment to pass the Ultimate Renter Test. After all, you’re nothing less than the #UltimateRenter.

1. How long does it take your maintenance team to respond to service requests?

When choosing an apartment, it’s important to know how prompt the maintenance team is at responding to your requests for service. You don’t want to be waiting days or weeks for required maintenance to be completed, especially if something in your apartment is broken. Some complexes have rules for their maintenance teams about how prompt they need to be about responding to issues. We highly recommend asking if the apartment community you’re looking into renting from has a standard for promptly responding to service requests.

2. Will paying my rent build my credit?

Some apartment communities have tools they use that allow paying your rent to actually build your credit. There are tools communities can use that report your monthly rent payments to credit bureaus. It’s worth asking if the apartment complex you’re looking to rent from utilizes any tools like this.

3. If your apartment is pet-friendly, are there breed restrictions?

There are many communities that allow you to have pets. But that doesn’t mean you can get whatever pet you want. Even pet-friendly apartments have rules about what kinds of pets they allow. For example, they may be dog-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they allow all dog breeds. Some apartments also don’t allow dogs under a certain age. It’s important to know about what pets are allowed even if you don’t currently own a pet. You might decide you want one down the line. If that’s the case, want to be sure the apartment you’re renting is pet-friendly.

4. Can I meet the property manager?

Some property managers are very involved in creating the best possible place to live for their residents. And some property managers… well, not so much. It’s likely that you’ve only been dealing with a leasing agent up to this point, but to really get a feel for where you’re going to be living, we recommend asking to meet the property manager. After all, it doesn’t matter how affordable or spacious your new apartment is if the community isn’t properly managed.

5. How long do residents normally live at this community?

Some apartments look perfect from the outside, but there could be unforeseen issues that make living there a nightmare. That’s why we recommend getting an idea of how long people normally live there. If residents aren’t staying long, that could be a sign it might not be the right place to rent. Depending on the answer, you may need to do some more digging to determine if this is really where you want to call home. Online reviews are a great way to do some additional research to learn about how residents feel about living at the community.

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