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Manage My Life

what are questions I should ask when looking to rent a house?

what are the inportant questions to ask that aren't obvious? I know how much rent is etc,

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5 Answers from these members:
Gloria Brown
BB's answer is excellent, and I know this is an older question, but it's a good one for anyone moving into a rental. I would add a couple of things.
Ask about lawn maintenance - may times, owners pay a third party quite a bit of money to come in every week or two to manage lawn care and snow removal (when and where applicable). If you're willing and able to do either or both, you may be able to negotiate a reduction in rent (just be prepared to uphold your end of the bargain!). This is obviously more likely successful on single family dwellings. By the same token, if lawn care isn't your 'thing' be sure it's included in the rent or you'll be upset (and so will your landlord) when the grass is growing or the snow is falling and you don't want to be responsible for taking care of it :)
Next, ask if you're permitted to paint/change light fixtures/insert any other decorating issues here so that you're clear on what is and is not permitted. I like to decorate so it's important I understand where I can insert 'me' into my rental.
Last, I agree with BB - check out your new neighborhood at night, or on a different day than your first visit - my lesson in this is that as I was looking at a home and ready to hand over the down payment, I decided to drive by on a Friday night, and realized I couldn't get down the street, let alone park, because the house was two blocks away from a large local high school...it should have been obvious to me that this would be an issue, but I didn't realize it until I was in the thick of it.
Thanks!
by Gloria Brown
September 22nd, 2013
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Manage My Life
this is the answer
by Manage My Life
July 1st, 2010
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Manage My Life
this is the answer
by Manage My Life
July 1st, 2010
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Manage My Life
this is the answer
by Manage My Life
July 1st, 2010
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Manage My Life
A copy of the utilities for months previous to make sure they are not through the roof before you sign. Meet the neighbors to see what they have to say of the property. After the lease agreement do you have to sign another lease or does it go month to month after the lease is up.

Here are some simple pointers.

* Confirm all the claims made in the ad and clarify any sketchy statements. Ask the owner/management company for exact descriptions.

* Ask for the total square footage of the home as well as the footage of each room.

* Make sure the rent is exactly what was listed and that the availability date matches your schedule. There’s no sense in wasting time looking at a house for rent that isn’t going to be ready for three months when you’re ready to move next week.

* If you have any special needs, like a dog that will be moving in with you or an allergy to a certain type of carpet, be sure your requirements can be met.

During the walk-through of the home…

* Do all the appliances work? Check all the appliances and sinks to be sure they are working properly.

* Are there insects or rodents present? If the current tenant is there ask them about the severity of the problem and what is being done to fix it.

* How old is the wiring? If there are very few outlets or if you see two-pronged switches, it probably is older wiring. This may be a convenience and safety issue.

* How much closet/storage space is there? Don’t underestimate how much space your belongings will take up.

* Are there enough windows to provide ample light for your taste and do they open and close properly?

* Are the rooms big enough to fit your furniture? Take a tape measure with to be sure.

* Make sure that the house will be cleaned and have the paint touched up before you move in.

* How is the home heated and cooled? Check the units to see what shape they are in. Also ask what utilities are included in the rent and which ones are your responsibility as the renter.

* What is the maintenance policy? What fixes are included in the rent and which ones are not. If there are repairs that are not included in the rent, find out if there is an extra charge and how much it is. There should be a prompt emergency contact and a non-emergency line as well.

* What parking is available, is there a garage or only street parking? Are there any parking permits that are required in the neighborhood?

* Do all the appliances work? Check all the appliances and sinks to be sure they are working properly.

Before you sign the lease…

* If anything was amiss during the walkthrough or not up to standards, negotiate a lower price to make up for these problems. You can also use yourself as a selling point to knock $50-$100 off the rent. Many home owners are willing to accept a little less rent for a responsible, mature tenant who will pay rent on time and keep the place well-maintained.

* When is the rent due and what is the policy on late rent?

* Are you required to hold renter’s insurance? If so, how much will a policy cost?

* Is the neighborhood safe? Walk the neighborhood at night (with a friend) and observe your surroundings. Also check online to see if crime reports are available for your neighborhood.

* When can you move in your belongings? Check the move in/move out dates printed on the lease. If the 1st of the month falls on a Wednesday, can you move in the previous weekend or will you have to do a weekday move?

* Get a copy of the lease and keep it in a safe place.

Each agreement is different and each property is different and this is a sample list. Good luck, BB
by Manage My Life
May 4th, 2010
Answered in 22 hours
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