Renting a home can be an exciting time, but it also involves trust between landlord and tenants. When you decided to rent, there are many items to discuss to ensure that you are on the same page. Take the time to make sure you understand the terms laid out in the rental agreement, and ask the questions that need to be asked, such as is renters insurance required? Here are seven questions to ask a new landlord:
- What is the Itemization of the Rent?
Often, renters look at the rental price and assume that it covers everything they need to pay. However, the price you see listed is often only the rent itself, and utilities, parking fees, and cable are extra. When considering the agreement with your landlord, ensure to cover what is not included in the rent. You don’t want to sign a contract, then be surprised by extra costs.
- Are There Additional Fees?
Depending on the type of property you are interested in renting, there might be additional fees for specific features. For example, if you are looking for an apartment with parking, it might be an additional fee and not included in the rental price. Additional costs can add up and play a role in determining if you can financially afford to live at the property. Having all information on additional fees, what is included in rent, etc., can help compare different rentals to decide which one works for you.
- What Are Acceptable Payment Methods?
An important question to ask is, what are acceptable payment methods for rent? Some landlords may have a specific plan that helps them manage their accounts, while others may be picky about making sure they get their payment at a particular time. You’ll need to know what payment methods they accept rent payments in, such as e-transfer, cash, bank transfer, or cheques. Payment methods are essential for someone who does not have easy access to the bank, but their landlord might require it.
- What is the Move-in Date?
Sometimes landlords quickly put up a listing hoping to have a tenant as soon as possible. When there is a rushed date, it could mean you are paying rent and moving in only a few short days. If the property owner is in a hurry to fill the rental right away, you need to consider the time it takes to get a deposit, leave your current residence, pay rent, and moving. Moving is a stressful, time-consuming event, so it could be stressful if you sign an agreement that doesn’t give you flex-time. Ask your landlord what date they expect you to move in and if there is any flex-time to put a deposit down to hold the rental, but move in (and begin paying) a couple of weeks later.
- Is the Rental Pet-Friendly?
A pet-friendly rental will be essential to consider if you have a pet. It will help if you asked if your landlord allows pets. Knowing the restrictions and rules for pets at the rental property can help determine your decision. You can use sites to search rentals and select specific filters, such as pet-friendly, so you only see rentals that allow pets. It would be best to discuss expectations around having a pet in the rental since certain areas your pet has access to or limited spaces. Sometimes rentals are specific on the size of the pet allowed.
- Are Inspections Made Regularly?
A common complaint that tenants typically have with their landlords is a delayed response time to a maintenance issue or problem in the rental. Ask your landlord before signing an agreement on how often inspections are made and their policy for fixing issues. You will want an organized landlord who is on top of the property maintenance. You should also ask your landlord what the procedure is for inspections. Do they give you notice beforehand, or do they knock on the door and enter at their convenience? How can you submit a claim? All of this information is important in preparing you for how the landlord handles and runs the property.
- What Is the Length of the Lease?
You will need to ask the landlord about the length of the lease. Not every rental is month-to-month payments, and some will ask for the first and last month’s rent in advance. Sometimes, landlords might require a tenant to commit to a two-year lease. Be sure to consider all the parts of the lease to know that the lease of the rental fits your timeframe when you sign.