Get These Answers Upfront to Get the Full Picture
When you’re looking for your next Texas apartment to call home, walking through and looking at rentals isn’t enough. You need to have some questions ready to ask the landlord or rental agent. That’s the best way to get a better idea of what it could be like living in that unit and community — and whether you really want to rent there.
11 Questions to Ask When Renting a Texas Apartment
Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to getting answers about your next potential home. Here’s what you should ask and get clear answers about.
1. What’s included in and excluded from the rent?
Who’s responsible for paying the water, utilities, Internet, and cable bills? Does rent include parking or any on-site services, like valet or concierge service? Talk about money first, and be sure to ask about any special offers available, like rebates or first-month discounts.
2. How often should I expect a rent hike?
When was the last time rent was raised? What sparks rent increases? How much notice does the landlord provide when the rent’s going up? You may want to double check the landlord’s answers with online reviews from past renters.
3. How much is the security deposit & will I get it back?
Some landlords may waive the security deposit to attract new renters, and others may require first and last month’s rent before you move in. No matter what price tag comes with the security deposit, it’s also important to find out if, when, and how you can ever reclaim that cash.
4. What’s the parking situation like?
Will you have a designated spot? Is parking covered? What about your guests – where would they park if you have people over? Depending on your vehicle and situation, you may also want to ask about electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage areas, and/or how close you are to public transportation.
5. What’s your pet policy?
Are there restrictions on pet breeds or types? Is there a special pet deposit? Do you need to submit a separate application for your pet? If you’re moving with a critter, you definitely need to know about the pet policies and any special rules.
6. What are the community amenities?
While you’re touring an apartment, take a look at the community as a whole too. Make sure to ask about any construction or plans for construction because that could limit your access to certain amenities.
7. What are the other renters in this community like?
Is the community mostly young singles going to college, young professionals, families, or retirees? Are there lots of children? Is the overall vibe more social or quiet? You know what will fit your lifestyle best, so be ready to ask some follow up questions, especially about the neighbors you may be sharing walls with.
8. What can I expect in terms of maintenance or help when something breaks in the unit?
Who do you call, especially if it’s the weekend or a holiday? How soon will you get a response? What are you responsible for fixing yourself? And when can the landlord or maintenance enter your apartment without notice? Maintenance isn’t the same at every apartment community, so you make sure you get clear answers about what you can expect when things go wrong and you need help.
9. What lease terms do you offer?
Are leases month to month, short-term, or long-term? What happens if you need to break the lease for some reason? No matter what answers you get here, make sure you also read the lease very carefully so that you fully understand its terms.
10. What is the application process?
What type of proof of income do you need? Will there be credit checks? What are the application fees? Can I apply online? As you get a better idea of what it takes to apply, also ask about how long it takes to get an answer once you submit your application.
11. What is the surrounding area like?
How safe is the surrounding neighborhood? What is it like at night? How noisy or quiet does it get? While you can get some good insights from this question, it’s also wise to explore the surrounding neighborhood on your own — and to come back at nighttime to see what it’s like for yourself.
If you forget to ask one of these questions, you can always call or email the landlord to ask them later. You can also get extra support navigating the rental market — and you can get cash back when you sign a lease — when you turn to the experienced apartment locators at Apartment Gurus.
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