Checklist: Questions to Ask the Apartment Manager
Renting an apartment can be a tricky business, because landlords and property management companies might be located at either end of the spectrum from “amazing to rent from” and “complete nightmare”. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which type of landlord you’re renting from until you’ve already signed the lease!
We’ve compiled a checklist of questions you should ask your property manager or landlord before you sign a lease or move in. Trust us, these questions might end up saving you a lot of time, stress, and money!
How do I pay rent?
Obviously, the cost of rent will be one of the first things you’ll know about the apartment. But you might be surprised at the different ways that various landlords want rent payments to be made– and it’s a very good idea to know ahead of time what’s expected of you.
For example, many property management companies offer an online portal through which tenants can easily pay their rent with just a few clicks each month. This is really the ideal situation for most!
Some landlords and property management companies expect a paper check each month– which, in 2022, might be kind of a difficult thing to ask. Most people, especially younger people, don’t carry or potentially even own checkbooks. You’ll definitely want to know ahead of time if your landlord wants you to pay via check.
Is there parking?
Some property managers try to just leave things blank in online apartment listings, especially things that are detrimental to the apartment’s appeal to renters.
If your building is located in a busy urban area with very limited street parking, and there’s no dedicated on-site parking, that might be a dealbreaker. Even if a landlord insists that street parking is easy, it’ll be greatly beneficial to test it out for yourself– if you’re thinking about signing a lease, stop by around the times when you might be leaving or coming home and see what the traffic and parking are like.
If they’re a mess, you might save yourself a lot of time and anxiety by looking elsewhere for your rental.
What do you expect upon move-out?
Moving is an incredibly stressful process on its own. That’s why property managers who require an extensive move-out process should let you know as soon as possible– preferably within the text of the lease itself– exactly what will be expected of you.
Some apartment managers take care of all of the cleaning on their own, not trusting tenants to do it themselves. Some apartment managers, however, expect a checklist to be thoroughly completed by a tenant prior to move-out– and if it’s not completed, their security deposit might be in jeopardy.
If you think you’ll be moving out during a stressful time in your life, like school finals or during an intense project at work, you might want to avoid an apartment that requires a a white-glove inspection to get your deposit back.
What amenities are included?
This is another one that an apartment manager might purposely leave blank on a rental site listing, but it’s imperative to ask. You’ll definitely want to know, for example, whether there’s a washer and dryer present in the building or unit.
This is one that it helps to explicitly ask rather than assume– even if you walk through a unit and there’s a washer and dryer there, they might belong to the current tenant and could be gone when you move in, just leaving hookups behind. Make sure the amenities that are included work for you and your lifestyle before signing anything!
Ultimately, it helps to gather as much information as you possibly can before you move into an apartment. Knowing exactly what’s expected of you and, in turn, exactly what you can expect, will make your rental experience as smooth and pleasant as possible.
Working with a service like Apartment Hunters can also help put you in touch with great property managers. We have a personal relationship with many landlords and apartment managers in the Little Rock area, and can often vouch for them or answer your questions if needed. Give us a call at 501-219-2787 or send us a message today and we’ll get started on finding you an amazing rental experience.