So you think you've found the perfect place? Before you sign on
the dotted line, it is a good idea to think twice and ask your potential landlord a few
good questions and check out a few things. Check the apartment out completely and take
notes on any issues for later use.
- Check the water pressure and hot
- Check if the toilet is working.
- If the
apartment is furnished, check the furniture.
- Check the lights, walls
- Check all appliances.
- Check the
- Check the heat and the fire
- Check the electrical meter.
- Find out how
much the previous tenants paid the utilities. Some apartments are more energy efficient
- Find out exactly what your deposit will be and what the
terms for its return are. Will you have to clean the apartment yourself when you leave?
What are the standards of cleanliness?
- Your landlord is required to
place your deposit in an interest-bearing account and you should receive yearly the
current rate of interest on the account minus a one-percent service charge. Verify that
your landlord understands this.
- Ask what kind of repairs will be made
to the apartment before you move in. Will it be painted? Cleaned?
- Once you check the apartment, discuss repairs with your
landlord. All repair issues should be noted on your lease, including any damages, in
order to avoid you getting charged for them later or losing your
- If your landlord refuses to place repair/damage items on the
lease, put them in writing yourself, and send your landlord a copy certified mail and
return receipt requested prior to accepting keys.
- Check with the
landlord about subletting.
- Get the landlord's address and phone
- Discuss with your landlord how future repairs will be made.
Will you call him/her for repairs, or should you contact a repair person yourself? How
are emergency maintenance issues handled?
- Talk with the neighbors
about the competency and reputation of the landlord.
- Don't give the
landlord any money before you sign and are positive you want the apartment.