These tips are for all renters- the new and the seasoned. Most of the pricing, location, and utility information will likely be placed in the ad- but not always. Things change and so it’s important to approach some things as a beginner.
If you are looking for a rental unit, don’t go into it and sign a lease without asking the questions below:
How soon the landlord is looking to fill the unit:
You may need it now and the rental unit may not be ready for 30 days. Timelines are important to ensure time and energy isn’t being wasted.
How long a lease term is required:
Some landlords have flexible options, others don’t. If you need flexibility, then a landlord renting a property with a 12-month required lease term may not be for you.
If there’s a subletting policy:
Sometimes this is in the fine print. If not there at all, then subletting may be allowed, but ask anyway.
If there are fees for early lease termination:
Life happens and with it, breaking a lease has to happen. This is usually allowed with certain requirements and certain fees, but it’s important to ask anyway.
Things included in the cost of rent:
Such as cable, wi-fi, utilities. It’ll be good to know if you’ll have additional expenses outside of rent.
The security deposit amount and if it’s refundable:
Usually, security deposits are refundable but ask anyway. Is it fully refundable? Is only a portion refundable? What makes the security deposit non-refundable? These answers will come in handy later.
Ask the landlord if maintenance staff is onsite and available for repairs:
If there is no maintenance staff then this is an indication that repairs may not be timely.
What the neighborhood is like:
The hope is for honesty but there are always public records.
Ask the landlord who their ideal renter is:
This is a good way to see if you’re a good fit for the landlord or if there are things that do not make you all compatible.
Are renters required to secure renter’s insurance?:
Sometimes, this requirement is in the fine print. Make sure to ask if this is required and the limits required. Renter’s insurance is always a good idea regardless of whether it is in your lease. Contact us today to explore your options.
Before you sign that lease, ask important questions. Signing that lease is like a committed relationship. You want to be sure that you can handle the terms, the area, the unit, and beyond.
The landlord should be fine with you getting clarification and starting off your tenant-landlord relationship on the right foot.
About Ryan Ruffcorn
Ryan grew up in Keokuk, graduated from Keokuk Senior High, and started his agency in Keokuk from scratch in 2003 after having worked for one of the largest international accounting firms, KPMG, LLP.
Ryan is hardworking; his loyal and trustworthy character is exemplified by the way he does business. He thoroughly enjoys helping clients through the insurance buying process to secure coverage for their most valuable assets.