Remember when our elders told us “There is no place like home” and we laughed it off? Turns out, they were right; there is no place in the whole world where you can be so content and satisfied at the same time. Thus, it is important to have a home that you can afford and remain happy living in it.
For living in the home of your dreams, it is necessary to be well-versed in the questions to be asked from the landlord. Carefully selected questions will give landlords a chance to explain the attributes of the contract, and property.
Depending on the city and area, sometimes renting an apartment or home appears to be more affordable than taking complete ownership of it. However, you need to conduct in-depth research before renting a house. Here is a list of questions to ask a potential landlord.
How long is the lease term?
One of the most important questions to ask a potential landlord is the duration of your lease. According to Consumer.gov, the standard period for a lease is usually 12 months. However, several landlords choose to offer lease terms that vary between 6 and 18 months. Before renting out the house or apartment, you should have a detailed discussion with the owner to determine whether the rental lease agreement is flexible or not.
Which lease term should I pick?
Given that the landlord has not set any specifications about the duration of the lease term, you then get the opportunity to sign a lease term of your own choice. How do you make such a choice? The answer is fairly simple: Review your priorities and then decide your course of action accordingly.
For instance, if you plan on staying in the area for a long time (over one year), it would be better to sign a one-year lease. In this manner, you will be confident about the rent staying constant for a one-year period. On the contrary, if you wish to move cities or upgrade your place of living within a month or two, then a monthly rental lease may prove to be more effective.
What does the “Rent” include exactly?
Are you wondering why such a simple query falls under the list of crucial questions to ask a potential landlord? The answer lies in the question itself- rent is a holistic term and landlords demand different charges under the umbrella of rent. Hence, it is always better to get clarity from landlords before making such an integral decision.
You must make sure to ask the landlord to provide a breakdown of the expenses included in the rent. These expenses usually account for the cost of utilities which includes water, electricity, trash, storage, and so on. If the utilities and rent are added together and the total amount to be paid seems affordable, you may just have a good deal on your hands. But if the utilities aren’t totaled in the rent, it is better to engage in a discussion with your landlord to assess the additional cost of these expenses.
Additionally, it is always better to ask more questions than a few- try to ask your potential landlord about the cost of other amenities like lawn mowing, parking, pool access, and cleaning services. Chances are that these services may not be included in the rent and you would be obliged to spend an extra amount out of your wallet.
When Is Rent Due and What Is the Process to Pay It?
Each landlord differs from another in terms of the rent payment procedure. Thus, one of the key questions to ask a potential landlord is the step-by-step process to pay rent. Not only should you confirm the process to pay rent, but also clarify when the rent payment is to be made. Since we should always look out for unforeseen circumstances, you could consider asking him if a missed rent payment is attached with an extra fee.
For those of you who happen to move into the apartment or house in the middle of the month, ask your landlord if they will prorate the rent. In such a case, you will only be required to pay the amount of rent for the time you’re living in the unit.
What happens if I end up breaking my lease?
People change, plans change, and so does life. There is a possibility of you having to leave the rented apartment or house before the lease reaches its expiry period. If you find yourself embroiled in such a situation, try to first look at the note written on your lease agreement and see if there is a particular clause that tackles terminations before the assigned date. However, if there is no specific clause listed, you can speak to your landlord and draft a potential solution to the problem. Many times, landlords might be unwilling to change their policy on breaking the lease and thus, you should then refer to the state’s laws for breaking a lease.
In the essence of the facts stated above, these were some of the most significant questions to ask a potential landlord. This doesn’t mean that your renting decision lies on the answers to the five questions highlighted above. We have only tried to outline some of the key questions you should ask your prospective landlord. However, feel free to clear out any other queries or concerns you may have about renting the apartment or house.