Have you ever wondered what questions to ask a landlord before you sign a lease? Sometimes there are certain situations that prevent us from buying a home. Therefore, we must rent something. Be it a room, house, or apartment.
Renting is sometimes a way of life. Therefore, when you rent your landlord will be part of your life. Consequently, it is imperative you ask the right questions before entering into an agreement with them.
I have compiled 5 (often overlooked) questions to ask a landlord to avoid confusion and future heartache.
What is the Condition of the Home you want to lease?
When you visit a home or an apartment you do not want to be surprised by the condition when you arrive, Therefore, when you first speak with your potential landlord, It is crucial to ask a landlord about the condition of the home.
This may sound a little crazy. However, not all landlords can be treated the same. For example, if you ask about major repairs that have been performed – i.e.: new electric, new pipes, mold remediation, etc.
A true landlord will gladly offer the information in detail of any repairs that he recently completed. Likewise, he will offer the main reason why the repairs were needed. Especially if he had a bad tenant in the past.
So, while you are asking, inquire about the condition of the floors, walls, and ceilings. Are the windows solid? In short, If the place that you want to lease is a dump it would be nice to find out upfront prior to meeting with the landlord. As a result, you will save yourself time and effort while you continue your search.
How Are Requests for Repairs Handled?
Repairs can sometimes be very costly. Depending on what is needed cost could exceed thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is imperative to know who is responsible for any repairs. The landlord, in most cases, is the one responsible for any and all repairs. But, it is good to know upfront.
Ask your future landlord how quickly repairs are handled and by whom. In some cases, you might be able to accomplish the repair yourself. However, it is important to ask how the landlord feels about that.
The last thing you need is to pay for a repair and then not get reimbursed because the landlord did not authorize the repair.
Most importantly, you need to know what happens if something breaks on a weekend. In other words, can you call for repairs and be reimbursed.
Certainly, nobody wants to live with a broken toilet or clogged drain over a holiday weekend.
Is the Landlord paying for Utilities?
Depending on the circumstances, some landlords elect to pay for some utilities. This usually because the local municipality requires a specific utility to be in the homeowner’s name.
However, some places include all utilities and cable. Some only water and trash. However, some include nothing at all. Who pays for utilities may not be a big deal but, if you know upfront what your expenses are you can have a better understanding of the affordability of the home you are looking to lease.
In addition, check out what the heat and air conditioning sources are and if they are effective. An inefficient heat pump or air conditioning can be very expensive, especially if the heat pump and air conditioning are on its last leg and barely hanging on.
Therefore, it is better to know the utility situation now before you commit (or over-commit) to leasing a home.
Where is My Parking Spot is a Question To Ask A Landlord
Depending on the place you are trying rent parking could be an issue. That is to say, there may be assigned parking. For instance, some have garages, and for others, it is street parking only, or even worse you might have to pay a monthly parking fee.
As a result, this can be a very important piece of information. You could end up circling the block every evening, or if the street is always empty. Further, you might need a parking pass which will be an added cost to consider.
One thing I always recommend to my clients whether they are renting or buying is to call the local authorities and find out the crime rate and how many of the crimes were car break-ins. Above all, ensure you check it out before you are stuck for 12 months.
Is My Lease Deposit Refundable?
When you sign a lease you are signing a legal document that you will be bound to. With that said, lease deposits can be tricky at best. That is to say, most tenants do not exactly understand what they are responsible for when they leave a rental.
Consequently, gambling with their money. The most important question to ask a landlord is what is the exact terms of the deposit. For example, where it is held, and if any part is non-refundable.
Above all, go through the pre-move in inspection, take pictures, and make notes. Ensure you have the landlord sign the pre-move in inspection at the same time as you. Make a copy and have both parties initial.
Consequently, ask for a move-out checklist of everything you will be held responsible for and the costs. This way there are no surprises when you move out.
You will move out, by the way, it could be in 12 months or 12 years, the terms of the lease and deposit will not change. You will be just as responsible after a long term lease as you would a short term lease.
I have tried to just point out some crucial questions to ask a landlord that should be answered prior to signing a lease. If you follow the above guidelines you should have a successful lease and a great relationship with your future landlord.
If you have additional concerns or would be interested in looking into a lease to purchase options, contact us at integritypropertyacquisitions.com
Thank you for reading I hope I left something here for you. If you have any experience, questions, or comments that you would like to share please leave them below and I will respond as quickly as possible.
About the Author: Chuck Adkins is a Realtor in the Milton, Pensacola Florida area. Likewise, he is the author of Help Baby Fall Asleep, Chuck Adkins Realtor, and Grill and Accessories blogs click here to read Chuck’s other work.