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Questions to Ask When Looking for an Apartment to Rent

April 19, 2019

Whether you’ve been a renter for years or are looking for the first time, there are always questions you should ask as you search for a new apartment. We’ve put together a list across several categories. These questions should prepare you to choose the right apartment for you with all the facts at hand!

Fees and Policies

This category of questions is probably foremost on your mind when you look for an apartment. When you ask these questions, it’s important to get the answers in writing if you can. Here are some questions we suggest:

  • What are move-in costs?
  • How much rent is required up front?
  • Are utilities included in the cost of rent? If not, how much do they run on average?
  • Does rent include a reserved parking space? If not, what is parking like?
  • How do I pay rent?
  • What are the penalties for late rent?
  • How often does the cost of rent increase? Can I see the history of your rent costs for the past few years?
  • What are the pet policy and pet fees?
  • Are there any fees for making changes to the apartment? Do you allow painting, hanging items with nails, etc.?
  • Under what circumstances will my security deposit not be returned?

Maintenance Issues

One of the benefits of renting an apartment is not having to deal with maintenance issues on your own. Your community will have a maintenance staff that can take care of these concerns for you. This is a great benefit, but there are a few things you may want to ask regarding maintenance:

  • Under what circumstances will your maintenance staff enter my apartment, and will I be given notice?
  • What is the average wait time for maintenance requests to be fulfilled?
  • How do you handle emergency repairs, such as a burst pipe late in the night?
  • Are the units updated, and if not, are there plans to update them?


Some communities have restrictions regarding how long a guest can stay before you are required to notify the property manager. It is best to find out this information up front before you step over the line and incur a fine or penalty. It is also courteous renter behavior to know and follow your community’s policies regarding guests, since they are not going to be paying any rent. Some good questions to ask are:

  • What is the guest policy?
  • Where are the guest parking spots and what is your policy on how long a guest may park at this facility?

Lease Contracts

Related to the issue of guests is the possibility that you, the lessee, experience circumstances that require you to move before your lease is up. In this case, you may wish to sublease out your apartment for the remainder of your lease. But first, you need to know what is allowed by your community:

  • Can I sublease the unit within the bounds of my contract?
  • If not, what are the penalties for breaking my lease?
  • How does your lease renewal process work?
  • Under what circumstances would my lease be terminated?
  • Do you require renters insurance?

If you have any questions about renting through MMC, reach out to us today!