Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment

 In Blog

When you’re looking for a new place to call home, it’s important to be aware of the questions you should ask when renting an apartment. Many renters fall victim to rental scams every year, and by asking the right questions, you can avoid being ripped off. 

Here are some of the most important questions to ask when renting an apartment and avoiding scams.

Questions to ask when renting an apartment:

  • What is the monthly rent price?
  • Is there a security deposit required? If so, how much is it?
  • Are any utilities included in the rent price?
  • When is rent due each month?
  • Is there a minimum lease term?
  • What is the late payment fee if rent is not paid on time?
  • What amenities are included in the building or complex (e.g., pool, gym, etc.)?
  • Is there a pet policy? If so, what kinds of pets are allowed, and what is the maximum number of pets per unit?
  • Are any rental restrictions in place (e.g., age requirement, student-only, no co-signers)?
  • What is the minimum credit score required?
  • What is the late payment fee if rent is not paid on time?
  • Are there any extra fees (e.g., application fee, move-in fee, etc.)? If so, what are they, and how much do they cost?
  • Can you sublet if needed?
  • Do you need someone to cosign with you if you are under a certain age?
  • Can you speak to some current renters to hear about their experience living there?

Tips for avoiding rental scams:

  • Be aware of fake listings. Do your research and make sure the apartment is actually available for rent. You can’t believe the number of people who post listings for places that they don’t actually own.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Does it sound like everything you want and more at a price that’s just too good to be true based on what you know about local apartment prices? Then it probably is. 
  • Don’t give out any personal information (e.g., social security number, bank account details, etc.) until you have met the landlord in person and verified that they are legitimate. It can be tempting to share your information for a place you really want, but you want to check its legitimacy before providing any of your personal information.
  • Always visit the property in person before signing a lease. If the landlord refuses to let you see the property, it’s probably a scam.
  • Get everything in writing. Make sure you have a copy of the lease agreement and any other documents related to your rental. If something goes wrong, you’ll have proof of what was agreed to. Additionally, make sure you read them carefully. You don’t want any surprises once you’ve signed your lease. 
  • Pay attention to the details. If the landlord is asking for a large security deposit or rent that’s significantly more than other apartments in the area, it could be a sign that something is not right.
  • Never wire money or send any other payments through an untraceable method (e.g., cash, gift card, etc.). If the landlord asks for this, it’s probably a scam.
  • If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Stay informed and stay safe! By asking the right questions when renting an apartment, you can avoid being scammed and find the perfect place for you! 

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