Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment

When you are getting ready to move out on your own, there are several questions to ask when renting an apartment. Landlords are sometimes unique in how they handle their leases and rental agreements. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to get the answers to a few important questions. This way, there will be no surprises and you will have a firm understanding of what is expected of me.

What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

Knowing what payment methods are acceptable will ensure that none of your rent payments are late. While some landlords prefer a money order or check, others have started to accept debit card payments, both online and in person. A good rule of thumb is to always pay for your rent with a money order, check, or debit card. This ensures that you have a paper trail to follow in case your landlord says he never received your payment. Nevertheless, Zukin Realty believes it offers the best and most modern way to manage and keep track of your rental payment. All tenants have access to our Tennant Login page to help manage payments and contact our offices for maintenance request.

What Is Your Policy on Late Fees?

Most landlords have a policy in place to deal with any late rental payments. Some will offer a five to ten-day grace period. During that time, no late fees will be charged. Late fees are often a flat fee, either $50 or $75. Landlords will sometimes use a percentage of your rent instead. The payment of late fees is not negotiable and must be turned in with the rent.

Is There a Fee If I Terminate My Lease Early?

Most landlords will add a penalty if you try to terminate your lease early if you have no good reason for doing so. Simply wanting to break your lease may mean that you have to pay for the remainder of your lease in order to get out of it. If your job requires that you relocate or you purchase a home of your own, you may be able to terminate your lease without any penalty as long as you give 30 to 60 days’ notice. This is one of the most important questions to ask when renting an apartment.

What Do I Need to Know About Renewing my Lease?

When it comes to the end of your lease, you have two options. You can start to go month to month or you can renew your lease. Most landlords require that you sign a new lease during the month prior to your lease expiring. Going month to month without a rental agreement or lease can be a bad idea. Without a lease laying the foundation for rules and guidelines, your landlord does not have to give you notice before entering your apartment. Having the lease in place is for your protection as well as the landlord.

Do I Need a Parking Permit?

Parking in West Chester can be a nightmare. If you live in the borough, you more than likely need a parking permit or pass that will allow you to park without getting ticketed. Smaller, in town complexes may have numbered parking spots that are assigned to each unit. Zukin Realty does rent parking spots but spots are limited. If you are unsure of how the parking is handled at your new apartment, please call Zukin Realty offices. It may also be written in your lease.

What Is Your Inspection Policy?

Landlords maintain the right to inspect their property. While they can enter your apartment as needed, if an emergency is apparent, it is normally required that they give you 24-hour notice before they enter your apartment for a regular inspection. This ensures your right to privacy, but still allows them convenient access to their property. In most cases, a written notice of inspection will be provided.

There are many more questions to ask when renting an apartment. If you have a question about your lease or what is expected of you as a tenant, ask before you sign your lease. That way there are no surprises. Covering all of your bases and getting the answers you need will give you the peace of mind you deserve.

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