Finding an Apartment for rent is not easy, and we know it from our experience. And if you are doing it for the first time, the whole process can be rather stressful. Some options are eliminated when you are just looking through ads, and others - are during phone conversations with a realtor or owner.
Once you have chosen several suitable flats, you must prepare for what's ahead. What questions should you ask the landlord? What details are important to consider? Go on reading; since we are studying all, this is our step-by-step guide!
But before we dive into it, let us warn you. In some cases, the apartment search takes more time and energy than you think. And you certainly want to concentrate on it without being anxious about upcoming deadlines.
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Is The Neighborhood Okay For You?
You come to see the apartment and are standing in front of the house. Look around. Are there shops and pharmacies near it? Is the street well-lit? Is the area clean?
Pay special attention to the entrance. You will probably have good neighbors if it's tidy and nice. Are the stairs dirty, dark, and creepy? Bad sign.
Also, don't forget to check how much time you need to get to school or work from this specific flat.
Does The Apartment Have Everything You Need?
Let's move on. When you are in the apartment, examine the communications, furniture, the view from the window, and so on. Here is a small checklist for you to follow.
Taps, pipe connections, washing machine hoses - all this must be in good condition. Otherwise, you risk living in a flat with dampness, stale smell, or mold.
- Windows and doors
They should open and normally close without a draft.
Check whether they all work.
- Household appliances
Pay special attention to the refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, air conditioner, washing machine, and other large or expensive appliances.
If something is wrong, ask whether the owner can fix it.
How Long Has The Apartment Been Rented?
An experienced landlord is well aware that when any rent results in minor problems, be it a stain on the sofa or a crack on the tile. Or vice versa - the tenant will want to conduct a small renter-friendly redesign project (which will be discussed in advance). However, if the owner is renting for the first time, their reaction to some domestic troubles or suggestions may be unpredictable.
Who Were The Previous Tenants?
This question helps you see how the owner treats their tenants. It's surely a good sign if they don't share anything negative to say about previous tenants. After all, life is full of surprises, and you definitely want your landlord to be understanding and open to communication.
Is There A Chance That The Apartment Will Be Sold Soon?
Ask whether the owner may urgently need your rental property. Such situations take place much more often than you may think.
For example, the landlord's daughter lived in this flat but left to study abroad. What if she returns? Where will she live? If the owner hesitated to answer or got nervous, you might need to find another option soon.
Does The Landlord Have All The Necessary Documents?
Unfortunately, there is always a risk of running into scammers. For example, under the guise of owners, they rent someone else's housing.
That is why you certainly need to see the ownership papers. Pay attention to how many owners there are. If there are multiple, then the lease agreement is either signed by everyone or by one person, but with a power of attorney from the rest.
Sometimes an apartment was bought by a married couple, but it was registered for one of the spouses, and there is no marriage contract. In this case, you need the consent of the second spouse as well.
What Are The Lease Terms?
Discuss the lease terms with the owner:
- How much will you pay per month?
- Is a deposit needed?
- In what cases is it not returned?
- How much will you pay for the bills?
- Is there a chance to make any adjustments to the apartment?
Of course, this list can be expanded by questions essential for you.
Will You Find A Common Language With The Owner?
All people are different: some don't come to the apartment for months, while others call their tenants weekly.
Ask the owner how your further communication will take place. Do they plan to come to visit you? The answers will help you form an impression of the person.
Plus, keep in mind that many landlords aren't eager to rent housing for students for many reasons. Therefore, you need to show that you are a stable tenant interested in long-term rentals. Show your rental or employment history if you have one.
Which Point Will Be Stipulated In The Contract?
The contract ensures that the promises made by the parties are kept. The agreement allows you to avoid inaccuracies and resolve possible conflicts.
Moreover, you'd better mention the current utility indicators in the contract. This way, you will ensure that the previous tenant didn't leave any debts behind.
What Is The Apartment's Current State?
A broken sofa leg, a leaking dishwasher, or a door scratch should be reported to the owner before signing the contract. After all, the landlord may think you are responsible for the damage; thus, you can say goodbye to your deposit. It is necessary to discuss this at the start, as you certainly don't want to pay for someone else's repairs.
To Wrap It Up
Don't lie to your landlord, even if you really liked the apartment and want to make the best impression. After all, you rent an apartment to make it your safe place, invite friends over and celebrate various events.
This is all-natural, and a trustworthy owner surely understands this.
Tell them about yourself: where do you study and work, your lifestyle and hobbies, and what does home mean to you? If you still can't establish contact, it's better to continue your apartment search. Finding a common language from the beginning is crucial as it will be easier for you to negotiate in the future.
A good relationship with the owner is super important! No one knows what life has in store, and it's quite possible you may need each other's help soon after.