Apartment Lease Questions: Before You Sign

a silver pen sitting atop a stack of paper documentsApartment Lease Questions to Ask Before You Commit

Finally done finding an apartment that’s right for you? Well, hold on before you sign the lease. There are some apartment lease questions you need to ask before you can be absolutely sure that this apartment is right for you.

Even if an apartment meets all of your requirements — number of bedrooms, square footage, amenities, etc. — it’s still possible that your living situation can be made less than perfect because you forgot to ask important apartment lease questions before you signed.

Often leases, whether renting loft apartments, college apartments, or high rise apartments, will require at least a one-year commitment. Before committing to living in an apartment complex, definitely ask these apartment lease questions and get the answers in writing. You may have heard horror stories of apartment residents being promised many things, and realizing they were misinformed once they sign the lease.

Don’t forget to check your apartment lease exits. Although you think you’ll be around for months, you may need to move somewhere else, or maybe you’ll get an opportunity to buy a home. If you don’t discuss how to get out of your apartment lease, you may be out of luck.

Some of the answers to these apartment lease questions will be in black and white on the lease, but you may need a helping hand to point out where those answers are in all the legal jargon. If the answers to your apartment lease questions aren’t clear or documented, you may want to request them in writing. Be fully prepared by asking the following questions.

Apartment Lease Questions

  • How long is the lease? Start date? End date?
  • What time can I pick up my keys on the first day of the lease?
  • When is rent due?
  • What forms of payment do you accept for rent?
  • How much are late fees, and when are they applied?
  • How quickly will maintenance requests be handled?
  • What is the proper way to make a maintenance request?
  • Is it possible to break the lease?
  • What is the cost of breaking the lease?
  • What is the deposit?
  • How much of the deposit is refundable?
  • Is there an application fee?
  • What is the policy on guests?
  • Does this apartment take pets?
  • Is there a parking permit required? Are there covered or reserved spaces?
  • What are the pool hours?
  • What utilities are included in the rent?
  • Are there hook-ups for washers and dryers in the apartments? If not, is there a laundry facility? How much does it cost? When is it open?
  • Is there a gym? What are the hours? Does it cost extra to use?
  • May I sublease my apartment?
  • Are there any limitations on decorating the apartment?
  • About the water heater: Is it shared between apartments? How large is it?
  • Is renters insurance required?
  • Is there an emergency maintenance contact?

These are some great examples of what apartment lease questions to ask before you sign the lease. In looking over them, you may even have realized that a few of them didn’t occur to you to ask. Or perhaps you’ve thought of other apartment lease questions to ask that haven’t occurred to us, or that are specific to your personal circumstances. Don’t be shy – now is the time to ask your apartment lease questions, because now is when your apartment complex is eager to make you happy! And don’t forget to look into apartment ratings and renters insurance, too.

Some apartment lease questions are easy to forget to ask, but you’ll be very glad you did if a problem arises. Never be shy about asking apartment lease questions and getting answers when you’re speaking with an apartment manager or representative. And if an answer they give you bothers you, speak up — sometimes they might be willing to accommodate your requests or meet you halfway. Regardless, it is essential to ask apartment lease questions before you commit to living somewhere.