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What Should You Ask a Building Manager When Viewing a Rental?

You’ve found a great apartment, made the appointment with the building manager, and are ready to go take a look at what could be your next home. What questions should you ask the building manager, landlord, or property manager?

Here are some of the top questions prospective tenants should ask:

1. Do you accept pets?
If you have a pet, this could be a deal breaker. Find out what pets are accepted, and if there are breed or size limits. Find out also if there is additional rent or a deposit required for pets. In addition, if you have allergies and living in a pet free environment is important to you, this question will also give you an idea if this is the right place for you.

2. What utilities are included?
You will want to find out if electricity, heat, and water are included in the lease, or if you need to set up separate accounts with utility companies. Also find out about WiFi services and cable and internet hookups. If you need to find your own provider, find out which is the dominant company offering television, phone and internet service.

3. What are the building amenities? Where are they located and are they available 24 hours?
Find out about access to gym, laundry, or rooftop common areas. If the hours are restricted, what are the hours? Also, find out about the policy for reserving common areas for private use, such as a large party or reception, or business meeting.

4. What are the rules about smoking?
This is an important question whether you are a smoker or non smoker. If smoking is not allowed in your apartment, find out if it is allowed on the rooftop, at the pool, or on outdoor patios or common outdoor areas. If you are a non smoker, it will be important to you to have a smoke free environment within your apartment and hallways leading to it. You may also need to know if you will be exposed to cigarette smoke in common areas.

5. Are any major changes planned?
You will want to know if a major renovation or construction project is planned. For example, maybe the parking lot will be repaved, or garage will be repaired, which will mean it is necessary to find alternative parking.

6. Will all the advertised building amenities be available, or is there a waiting list?
Sometimes parking spaces, garages, or storage spaces are limited and there is a waiting list. Find out if these and other amenities are available, or when they might becomea available to you. 

7. Can you transfer your lease to a different apartment in the building?
If you wanted a particular view or floor level, it might become available later. Can you transfer your lease to a different apartment, or upgrade to an apartment that is larger? Alternatively, can you downsize to a smaller apartment if one becomes available and that is what you originally wanted?

Finding out the answers to your questions up front will enable you to make a more informed decision before you sign the lease, rather than discovering that you may have made a costly mistake. Being an informed apartment hunter is always in your best interest.

By Michael James

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