When looking for an apartment, prepare a list of essential questions for your potential landlord. If you are not moving for the first time, it is likely that you are already familiar with those questions. Being well-prepared for the first appointment with your future landlord you may avoid any possible misunderstanding or unpleasant surprise. Right questions can help you make the right decision, so think about your expectations and requests and compare them with those of your possible landlord.
– The rent
Although it might be written in an ad, make sure to confirm the exact rental price. Your future landlord needs to be specific about the rental price, explain which services and utilities are included in the price and mention some possible exceptions or malfunctions.
Utilities like hydro, heat, parking, water and garbage pick up should be included in the rental price, but it’s not always the case. The amount of the security deposit is also a factor that will affect your decision, so make sure that it is refundable once you decide to leave the apartment.
Make sure to get clear information about how much you will have to pay extra for utilities. You can either get more expensive offer which includes utility fees or a less expensive one which includes only the rental fee. The landlord should be able to give you the exact information regarding this matter in order for you to get the clear picture of your monthly expenses. Be informed whether the bills and taxes are covered or not.
Are there all appliances you need? Are all of them working properly? Most apartments are equipped with some basic appliances like washing machine, fridge, stove, while some other appliances like microwave or dryer are not likely to be provided. If there is enough space in the apartment, you can bring your own, too.
– Terms of the lease
Some landlords will offer month-to-month lease agreement, but a year lease is more common. Also, longer lease agreements might include cheaper rental price. Both tenants and landlords agree to sign fixed-term lease rather than month-to-month agreement. In case your landlord is concerned that your income won’t cover the monthly costs, he/she may request a guarantor, so you can have a friend or relative sign the contract for you. It is also written that breaking the lease will cause the penalty from the landlord’s end.
Who is responsible for the maintenance and who is paying for it?
Are the pets allowed? Apartments in New York City are mostly pet friendly, but it is quite possible that landlords request monthly pet rent on top of your rental price. The other option is that you may be charged an extra security deposit for the pets, which is a better option, since you might get that money back when you move out if everything’s all right.
This is not a pleasant topic, but it is very important for you to know if there have been some pest problems and about the way to deal with them.
– Decoration of the apartment
Are you free to decorate the apartment any way you want? Can you paint the walls, color some pieces of furniture and do some slight modifications? Most contracts point out that when you are moving out the apartment should be in the same condition as it was when you moved in.
– Rental agent
If you are moving to NYC, you will most probably have to hire an agent who will help you find a proper apartment. This service may cost you one month’s rent or even more.
– Parking place
Is there a parking place assigned to the rental unit and how much does it cost?
All the locks in the apartment should be changed, not redistributed. Ask your landlord to put the new ones in order to improve your safety.