Before signing the lease to a new rental unit, it’s important that you understand the basics about where you’ll be living. Ask your landlord-to-be these six questions to make sure this is a place where you can see yourself living.
1. Can I see my unit? Unless the previous resident hasn’t yet vacated the unit, the landlord should not have a problem with letting you see the unit you’ll be renting. This gives you the chance to back out if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
2. What is the overall cost of moving in? Many landlords will require a deposit and the first month’s rent upon moving in, but there may be additional fees like a pet deposit and/or an application fee as well. You must ensure that you can afford the move before committing to it.
3. What are the complex’s safety features? An apartment complex with safety features—such as a gate, security cameras, outdoor lighting, courtesy officers and/or alarm systems in the units—provide more value to residents. You must feel comfortable that your home will be protected from criminal activity, which may cause you to choose another complex if your first choice is lacking in safety features.
4. Can I decorate? It’s important to understand the specifics of the decorating policies. For instance, are you responsible for filling in nail holes or will the landlord take care of it? Are you allowed to paint, and would you have to repaint upon moving out? The rules vary widely and handy people who like making a space their own may not enjoy living in a complex with stricter rules.
5. What’s the pet policy? Make sure that your pet is allowed to live in the complex and find out if there’s a monthly pet rent. Some complexes have a weight limit or do not allow certain dog breeds. You may also want to ask about visiting pets in case you watch a friend’s pet while he or she is out of town.
6. What’s the subletting policy? Something may come up to take you away from your lease, such as an out-of-state job opportunity. Be sure you know the subletting policy, or what it would cost to break a lease, before signing any paperwork.
Protect your new home. Call Vios Insurance Services for more information on Van Nuys renters insurance.