This weekend we checked out a few places to rent since we’ll be moving this summer for my wife to attend med school. We’ll be mobile for the next few years, so buying a house just wasn’t the right move for us.
After sifting through a lot of the rentals available, I realized that it helps to have a few things sorted out before looking at places or committing to a lease. Here’s what I noted and hopefully it helps you or someone you know who’s planning to rent soon. (Oh, and if I left something off, please let me know in the comments. Chances are that I may have overlooked something and it would definitely benefit me and the readers if you point it out!)
Things Renters Should Know
1. Who is the landlord? Is it an individual or company that owns and maintains the property? (Who to contact in case of repairs or emergencies)
2. What is the monthly rent? When is it due? Any late fees?
3. How much of a deposit is required? Do most tenants get it back? What’s required to get it back?
4. Do you allow pets? If so, is there extra to pay each month or a higher deposit?
5. What is the length of the lease?
6. How much is the average monthly utility bill?
7. Who do I contact to start all utilities?
8. Is lawn care provided?
9. What are the neighbors like? (Students, professionals, night owls?)
10. What’s the proximity to the school, shopping center, business centers? (You’re asking this to know about traffic volume in the area)
If you could add a question or two from your experience in renting, what would you add?