Looking for a place to rent? In most cases, tenants have a ton of questions. You may have a hundred different questions in your mind and you possibly cannot have an endless discussion with your landlord. Hence, you should focus on those that matter the most.
Here are seven questions to ask your landlord before renting.
1. Understand the lease. How long is the lease valid for, what happens at the time of renewal, can it be renewed, how is the rent revision capped or if at all, when can the term of the lease be reviewed, can the lease be terminated by either or both parties and since it is usually allowed, what circumstances will be deemed acceptable. Also find out the rules of subletting.
2. Bring up the issue of maintenance, cleaning, improvements and repairs or replacement. Who would be in charge of making repairs that don’t result because of the tenant? Regular cleaning and maintenance can be attended to by either the landlord or tenant but the rent would be appropriated accordingly. Can improvements or changes be made to the property?
3. Be completely sure of the space you are renting and what kind of facilities you will have access to. In the same vein, be aware that the common facilities may be accessible to other tenants as well. From parking, to use of driveway, access to roofs or balconies and how one must use the common lights or fixtures in the public places, question on all these aspects.
4. Read the terms of the lease agreement. Take the agreement home, get it reviewed by a lawyer if you want and sign only when you are completely certain of what your obligations are, what legal provisions will be applicable on you as a tenant and what responsibilities the landlord would have. Don’t sign the agreement if you need some clauses to be clarified.
6. Get declarations on paper about the various structures in the property, the square footage and the fixtures already installed, the condition in which the property is being handed over to you and ask what kind of rules the landlord would be imposing on how you stay, live and go about your lifestyle.
7. If there are any problems in the property, then ask your landlord to have them fixed. If you have to fix them, then factor those costs in your rent and security/advance payments while negotiating.