Whether you are renting your first studio apartment or a large suburban residence, there are questions that every potential renter should ask BEFORE signing that Real Estate lease. While renting a single family home or townhouse has some additional responsibilities for the renter, many of the questions you need to ask will be the same.
Make sure you understand who is responsible for the utilities, what is included in the rent and what is not. If the landlord is paying any or all utilities ask for some assurance that the bills get paid. More than one tenant has been stuck with no water when a landlord failed to pay the water bill.
Make sure you know who to call in the event of needed repair or emergency and who has the keys and access to your home. If a pipe breaks at 2am, you should not need to wait until next Wednesday to get someone there. And, who has keys to get in and make those repairs? Will anyone be showing up unannounced, such as the exterminator etc.
The Pet Policies
If your family includes any four-legged furballs (or reptiles or rodents for that matter), find out in advance what kinds of animals (if any) are allowed. Many properties have strict rules regarding the types of pets that are permitted, including specific breeds and weight limits.
Maintenance of the property
Make sure you’re aware where the responsibilities lie. Who will react to any maintenance? If you think the property needs some maintenance make sure you request for it to be done before you sign, or at the very least ask for it to be written into the contract or perhaps negotiate less rent until the issues is resolved. Often overlooked are the boiler and the windows. In summer these are rarely an issue but a few months later, when the temperature drops, you want to make sure you have a fully working boiler, so ask to see any maintenance certificates.