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FAQs for Landlords and Rental Agents

What questions should I ask a landlord or rental agent before renting off-campus?

Leases

  1. What does the security deposit cover? How much is the security deposit? Is it refundable when my lease concludes?
  2. Does your property require an application fee or separate damage deposit fee? Will either of these be applied toward the first month’s rent?
  3. How long is the lease? What is the start date? End date?
  4. What is the penalty for terminating the lease early? 
  5. Is the lease just with one tenant or does each person in the unit sign a lease?
  6. Do you take checks from all tenants in the unit or just one check from the group?
  7. When is rent due? Is there a late fee? If so, when is it applied?
  8. What forms of payment are accepted for rent?
  9. Can I bundle the fees together?
  10. Can I rent month to month? Is there an extra fee if I do this?
  11. Is a credit check required? Will I need someone to co-sign or a guarantor?
  12. When will I be expected to renew the lease?
  13. Is renters insurance required?
  14. Is subleasing allowed?
  15. Are there incentives for me if I can recommend other tenants to your property?
  16. Is there a policy on overnight guests?  Where may they park?
  17. What is your pet policy? Is an extra fee associated? 

Utilities

  1. What utilities are included in the cost of rent?
  2. For utilities which are not included in the cost of rent, is there a specific vendor that I should use on your property?
  3. What is typically included in monthly rent?
  4. What appliances are included and which would I have to provide on my own?
  5. If washers and dryers are not included, is there a hook up for a washer and dryer? 
  6. Is a central laundry facility provided?  If so, what is the cost per load of laundry?
  7. Where do I receive mail?
  8. Is there trash/recycling pickup? 

Maintenance and Security

  1. Is the landlord responsible for maintenance repairs and costs?
  2. Is there a maintenance person on call 24/7?
  3. Do I need to be present for maintenance?
  4. What types of things are typically charged as damages when a tenant’s lease ends?
  5. Who is responsible for the grass cutting and snow removal?
  6. Do all bedrooms have smoke detectors? Are smoke detectors hard-wired or battery operated?
  7. Does the unit have a sprinkler system?
  8. How many parking spaces are available to the apartment, and is there a monthly charge?
  9. Are there security officers in the building/area?
  10. Where is the exterior lighting?

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