There is a lot more to renting an apartment than liking the layout. That's why it's so important to ask the following questions before you sign a lease.
How Are Rent Payments Handled?
The most common interaction you'll have with your landlord is paying rent, so it's important to know how they want it paid. Do you have to write a check and put it in the mail each month, or can you arrange a withdrawal directly from your checking account? Can you put it on your credit card if necessary? Understanding the process will make life easier, and you want to ensure paying rent is as seamless as possible.
In addition, you'll want to know what happens if you are late paying rent. Is there a grace period or will there be a fee after a certain number of days? It's always a good idea to understand what will happen in this scenario when renting something like a studio apartment.
What Utilities Are Included With The Rent?
Every apartment building is going to be different when it comes to utilities. Some will provide you with water as part of your rent, while others do not. While it is quite common to have your own electric bill, the unit may or may not have natural gas. Make sure you what utilities need to be paid and which ones are included as part of your rent.
How Does The Security Deposit Work?
It is common to provide one month of rent as a security deposit, but you'll only get that back at the end of the lease if you leave the apartment in the same condition you started renting it in. That said, you'll want to know what you can do to get your security deposit back at the end of the rental. Your landlord should have a list of reasons why the security deposit may be kept or given back as a partial amount. This can range from things such as scratched wood floors that require refinishing or having to repaint the walls.
Can You Sublease?
Subleasing is when a tenant finds somebody to rent their apartment. However, they do not go directly through the management. This can be done when you approach the end of a lease and have time left where the apartment is empty because you moved, or even if you want to rent out a second bedroom on a popular online service. Find out what the policies are so that you are prepared if you want to rent out your apartment.