It’s time for a new apartment! You’ve done a little research online and narrowed it down to a handful you’d like to tour. But, before your tour, you should know what questions you want to ask during an apartment tour. It will help you ensure the specific unit, the community, even the management company itself are the right fit for you.
To help you out, here are our top 10 questions to ask when viewing an apartment – and even before.
1. What Touring Options Are Available?
Before evening scheduling a tour, ask this simple question. You won’t find it on “common apartment questions checklists,” but it’s an important one to raise. Do they offer a virtual touring option, or is it in person only? Especially if you’re moving from another state, this would be the only tour option!
Many people find that they have to visit the property multiple times if they are only touring in person. The average number of tours is about 2.8 times before a prospect signs a lease. That’s a lot of time spent touring. So maybe a virtual touring option or a hybrid of virtual and in person touring is best for you!
2. Can I See the Exact Unit I May Be Living In?
Spoiler alert – the answer to this one should be yes. This is another question at the top of the list for questions to ask when looking at apartments. Before touring anything, ask if you can see the exact unit you may be living in. You may often see model apartments or floorplans, but nothing will give you the real experience like the actual unit. If you haven’t narrowed down your choice of floor plan yet, ask if you can conveniently see all the floorplans that could fit your needs – preview them seamlessly to help narrow down your choice.
3. What are the Deposit Requirements?
Most multifamily real estate properties have deposit requirements to rent an apartment. It could be the first and last month’s rent or another calculation. Ask how much and when this deposit is due, and make sure to ask early in the process, so you don’t get surprised when it’s time to pay.
4. What Are the Terms of the Lease?
You may know when a lease begins and ends, so it may not need to be one of the questions to ask when viewing an apartment. If you don’t, make sure you ask how many months the lease is for and any other terms of the lease you should know, like quiet hours or decorating restrictions.
5. Is Parking Included?
Knowing where and if you have to pay extra to park your car should be on the list of what to ask during an apartment tour. It may be a pretty hefty addition to your monthly rent cost. Or it may be in an inconvenient place. Whatever the case may be, it’s good to know and factor into your decision.
6. Is There a Pet Fee?
If you have a pet, you will want to make sure this is on the list of questions to ask during the apartment tour. If not, it could be a nasty surprise come move-in day. Felines and Fido may not be free.
7. Are Utilities Included in the Monthly Rent?
You’ll want to know what bills you pay when renting an apartment, besides your monthly rental cost. Some properties wrap utilities up in rent; some just factor in water cost. Then heat, gas, and electricity are paid for by the resident. Make sure to know this information upfront.
8. Are There COVID-19 Restrictions?
While in the United States, more and more businesses are opening up, it’s important to know if any restrictions are still in place on the property you are touring. Are any of the amenities shut down or restricted? Are there current policies, procedures, or guidance for the property?
9. What Should I Expect on Move-in Day?
Moving day can already be a little chaotic. It’s good to go in knowing what to expect. So, add this to your list of questions to ask when viewing an apartment. Leasing teams can provide a move-in checklist or a move-in instructional video providing general information about where your moving van can park and unload and get access to a service elevator, which will make moving much easier.
10. What Can I Expect After Becoming a Resident?
This question encompasses a lot of factors. From how do you pay your rent to what does communication with the property management team look like? Many communities have resident portals such as Yardi and Entrata that integrate with the Realync touring platform. Ideally, the property management team can provide resident sentiment feedback and/or testimonials about what living in the community is really like. If not, you should ask about feedback from current residents about their experience.
The “questions to ask when renting an apartment checklist” can go on and on. Not every question on this list may be relevant for you, but it’s important to go in with a prioritized list. Decide which ones are your “deal breakers” and start with those questions. Remember, this is YOUR next home. Leasing teams should be willing to work with you to make sure it’s the best fit for your needs.
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