4 Practical Apartment Questions You Should Always Ask

Couple Signing Apartment LeaseSo you finally found the absolutely perfect apartment for rent? Before you pop that bottle of champagne and kick back to celebrate, take pause; there may be a few considerations your new property manager or owner didn’t mention. Here are the key questions to ask before you take the renting plunge.

What amenities are included?

What is the parking situation like? Where do residents wash their laundry? What appliances come standard? When moving into a new complex, it’s easy to forget that not all apartments are created equal. Some complexes may require assigned, paid parking spots or don’t have a laundry facility on-site. Asking about the amenities can help narrow down your choices.

What are the pet policies?

“Pets allowed” and “pet-friendly” don’t necessarily mean the same thing. “Pets allowed” usually means that there is a pet deposit or fee, limits on weight (for dogs), and even breed restrictions. “Pet-friendly” indicates that the complex has pet amenities such as a dog park, pet waste stations, and in some cases daycare for Fido. If you are bringing a furry friend with you, check with management about all their pet policies.

How much are utilities?

Most apartments can give you an estimate of what an average monthly utilities bill entails. It’s helpful to ask about the utilities because it gives you a better estimate for your potential additional monthly costs. Is the heat electric or gas? How is the water bill calculated? Find out before you sign the lease, it can make a big difference to your budget!

What are the decorating restrictions?

Your new apartment can be a blank canvas to test out your decorating skills but if you’re thinking of painting the walls purple, you probably want to check with management on their painting policies. There is a wide range in painting policies among apartment communities. Some will allow you to paint any color as long as you paint it back when you move out; some allow just an accent wall or nothing at all. Can you put nail holes in the walls? Don’t leave anything to chance if you want to get your deposit back.

Once you have these tips mastered, you’ll be ready to turn that new apartment into the home of your dreams. You can finally break out that bubbly now. Cheers!