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The Most Important Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease

The Most Important Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a LeaseRenting can provide you with the chance to learn money management and how to honor a lease contract without the permanence of a house purchase. If you lack the finances to purchase a house or don’t plan to permanently, renting can be a great option for you.

When looking for a home or apartment to rent, it’s crucial that you get clarification on any concerns, and ask questions to get the landlord to give information they may not otherwise share. Rental associations only share a select amount of information online or in listings, and oftentimes the most important details aren’t made publicly available. Asking certain questions will help you to learn the necessary information to enter the lease agreement from a safe position and reveals nitty-gritty pieces about the contract, the property, or the landlord. For your safety, make sure that you’re protected with Renters Insurance and have the answers to these questions before entering into a contract.

What Are the Application and Qualification Requirements?

Normally, properties require renters to earn three times the monthly rent each month, though some may allow a co-sign if you make less. Most landlords also do background and credit checks. Make sure you know what information you’ll have to provide and if you think you’ll qualify. Being aware of this up front is helpful to prevent you and your roommates from wasting time on units that aren’t a fit.

It is important to fully understand all screenings, application fees, and if there are non-refundable deposits. Familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant regulations and laws.

Are There Utilities or Extra Costs?

Clarify what utilities are included in the rent. Note that there are many factors in calculating utilities costs including square footage, location, and time of year. Have a rough estimate of utility costs and find out utility costs for the particular property you’re interested in to ensure that you can afford the property. Utilities commonly included are water, electricity, and garbage.

In addition to utilities, the unit may also have some extra costs associated with it. Is parking included, or will you have to pay a monthly fee for a parking spot at your residence? If you have a pet, will there be a required pet deposit?

How Does Payment Work?

If the landlord only takes cash, you might want to reconsider. This isn’t a typical requirement, and from time to time can be a red flag pointing to some shady business. Paying online is probably the best – and most common way to pay rent because it can be automated and provides protection for the tenant as well as the landlord.

Can I Terminate My Lease Early?

Life happens, and sometimes you have to move. Know if you’re able to get out of your lease early, if necessary. Ask if there are any fees for early termination as well as the amount of advance notice you’re required to provide if this does occur.

How Do Service Requests Work?

One of the greatest benefits of leasing is the freedom from having to come out of pocket for unexpected home repairs. Find out how to submit requests and who handles repairs. If the landlord doesn’t have a clear answer, they’re probably not good about responding to service requests. The property conditions can also show maintenance habits.

What’s Included?

Some furnishings may belong to the current tenant, landlord or a staging company. Find out which appliances and furnishings stay for your use.

Would You Live Here?

If the landlord looks away or takes a long time to respond, they may be trying to hide something such as roaches, loud neighbors, or leaks. However, it’s a great sign if their eyes light up with a solid response.

Can I Get New Locks?

You wouldn’t want previous tenants to have access to your home, so be sure the landlord changes the lock before moving in.

How Secure Is It?

A safe living situation should be your number one priority. Ask the landlord about how safe the area and the building is, and if there are any additional security measures in place to keep residents and their belongings safe.

About A.J. Benet Inc. Insurance Agency

At AJ Benet Inc. Insurance Agency, we make sure that your New York Business Insurance policy includes more than the simple general liability and product liability. Our policies extend in cases where you underlying limits are exhausted. Our team of experts are willing to go the extra mile and not only protect your business but understand it. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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