Most Important Questions to Ask when Renting a Property

Your home is one of the most important investments you will make, so it’s imperative for you to protect your own interest when considering moving into a rental property. A few pertinent questions can make a marked difference.

Along with the standard rental questions covered in most leases such as monthly rent, security deposit refund policies, pet policies, and so forth, there are some less common inquiries which can make your transition much smoother and ensure you will be able to enjoy your new abode.

­Are there any previous issues with the unit I should be aware of?

There could be any number of problems with the space you have chosen, yet unless you ask some hard questions, the realtor may decide to leave pertinent information out.

My husband is the maintenance supervisor of a real estate company, and I remember the nightmare he fought with a brand new sub-division whose sewer lines were filled with construction debris causing massive drain back-up. The damage to the property as well as to the tenant’s belongings was devastating. The issue continued for several years, but rental agents most often forgot to mention the problem.

There may be other unforeseen concerns, such as neighbors or noise level in the area. Always insist on full disclosure! If the company is not honest and upfront, chances are you don’t want to rent from then.

What are your maintenance policies for emergency and non-emergency issues?

It’s always good to know what the procedure is before disaster strikes. Make sure you are given numbers for both emergencies and non-emergency matters, and keep them handy at all times. Try to clarify as much as possible what is covered by the company and what will be your responsibility.

It is also important to know when calling the emergency line if you will reach a person or have to wait for someone to call back much later. However, please remember what feels like an emergency to you, may in reality be something you will need patience until it can be addressed. In Naples property management, maintenance and emergency policies for properties are very crucial. These factors are carefully considered by both buyers and sellers in the real estate market.

Am I allowed to alter the décor?

If you are the type of person who likes to paint and add borders to your nest, you will need to discuss this with the landlord. Some policies will allow you to make simple changes as long the property is returned to its original condition before you go, while others will not even allow nails. You probably should know this beforehand in order to protect your security deposit and any future litigation.

Which utilities am I responsible for?

­With long leases and harried rental agents living off commission, the subject of utilities can often be overlooked. It can make your transition easier to know in the beginning what you are responsible for and have service switched before you move.

What is the policy on lawn care and snow removal?

Apartment hunters do not generally have to deal with the lawn or snow and ice, but with other types of units you should be aware if you are going to be responsible for your own sidewalks, driveways, and landscaping.

Who is responsible for pest control?

I ran into this problem when working in a real estate office quite often. There was an obscure reference to extermination under the health section of the lease which was often overlooked. It stated that the unit was treated prior to rental, and all subsequent applications were the responsibility of the tenant. Knowing what you are up against can make your life much easier.

In conclusion, there are really many different things which can go wrong no matter where you live. If there are any concerns you have, make sure to discuss these openly with the realtor and have an addendum added to the lease if it is an issue you feel could cause you major problems in time. They owe you full disclosure. Make sure you protect yourself!

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Patrick is a part-time fitness trainer and pursuing his Master’s in American Literature from Stanford University. He wishes to share his fitness plan with others to help them achieve their goals in terms of fitness and education.