10 Questions to Ask While Apartment-Hunting
We know the apartment-hunting process can be intimidating and tough to navigate, but we’re here to help! We’ve rounded up 10 important questions to ask your agent so you can make the most informed decision possible:
- What utilities are included in the rent?
Sometimes (not always) utilities such as electricity and water are included in the rent. In some newer apartments, you may even luck out and have Wi-Fi included too!
- Is there any flexibility in the rent?
It can never hurt to ask your agent if they think the landlord is willing to budge on the rent. If they have worked with the landlord before, they may be able to provide insight on their flexibility.
- Is the lease start date negotiable?
Some landlords may be open to moving in the weekend/week before. It’s not too common – especially if it’s currently occupied – but it’s a possibility and can help eliminate the stress if multiple people are moving in at once.
- What credit score does the landlord require?
Most landlords will require around a 650 credit score, but you will find some prefer higher and some lower. It’s smart to know yours in advanced so you know which apartments you qualify for.
- What’s the laundry situation?
If the apartment doesn’t have in-unit laundry, make sure to ask where it’s located in the building (if at all) and if it costs money to use.
- What’s the application process and what fees are included?
This is extremely important! Putting down a security deposit and/or first month’s rent is typical, but make sure to ask about any other fees so you’re prepared. Extra expenses can include application fees, move-in fees, co-signer fees, administration fees and more.
- How do I pay rent?
Some landlords prefer checks and others may have an online system. Make sure to ask so you can prepare checks in advanced or plan accordingly for auto-payments.
- How’s the parking in this area?
If you’re lucky, there may be an assigned parking spot with your apartment. If so, ask if it’s included in the rent or if there’s a monthly fee. If you’re opting for street parking, ask about spot availability and permit costs.
- Are pets allowed? If so, is there a fee?
If your landlord approves of you living with a furry friend, there will likely be additional costs. Make sure to ask whether it’s a one-time fee or monthly.
- What’s near the apartment?
It’s always smart to know what’s nearby, especially if you don’t have a car or bike. If walking is your main method of transportation, you’ll want certain facilities close to you. Ask about grocery stores, gyms, public transportation, restaurants/bars, schools, parks, and other things that are important to you.