100+ Questions to Ask Checklist

Before you sign that lease ask the adapted "100+ Questions to Ask Check List" by DeGeave.com

General

  • Who is the Landlord or Property Manager?

    • Is it a privately owned property or corporate?

  • Is there an onsite or local office to speak to the Landlord or Property Manager?

  • How much is the rent?

  • Do they need a security deposit? How much?

  • Do they need first month's rent? How about last month's rent?

  • How long is the lease?

    • What is the repercussion for terminating the lease early?

  • Is there an application fee? How much?

  • Are utilities included?

    • What specific utilities are covered?

  • Is the unit furnished?

    • ​What specific furnishings are provided?

  • Can you sublet?

  • Do the people in the rental office seem intelligent / seem like they care?

  • Who does apartment maintenance and how do they handle it?

    • Are they on call 24/7? 

    • Do they provide a 24 hours' notice before entering the unit on non-emergency issues?

The Apartment Building

  • Are the floors wood beam supported or concrete? (bouncy/not bouncy)

  • Central Air? Radiators? Electric Heat? In wall AC? AC at all?

  • Elevator?

  • Smoke alarms?

  • Sprinklers?

  • Alarms tied to Fire Station?

  • Do windows open?

  • Does the roof leak?

  • Are the windows drafty?

  • What condition are the floors in? Is the carpet soft/clean? Is the hardwood splintering?

  • Is there enough closet space?

  • Where will you store your vacuum cleaner?

  • Where will you store your bicycle?

  • Can you have a grill on your balcony?

  • Does the fireplace work?

  • Can you control the heat?

  • Can you have a real Christmas tree?

  • is there a screen door slide on the balcony?

  • Does the slider lock securely?

  • Is there a peep hole on the door?

  • How do you let someone into the building?

  • Can you monitor the front door / lobby from the apartment?

  • Can you paint the walls?

  • Do they allow pets? How about fish tanks? Is there a pet fee?

  • Do they allow water beds?

  • Is there a storage room? How big? How much does it cost?

  • Is there laundry in the building/complex?

  • How and where are UPS/FedEx deliveries left?

  • Will your couch fit through the door?

  • How about your box spring?

Kitchen

  • Gas or Electric Stove?

  • Kitchen sink disposal?

  • Kitchen Sink sprayer?

  • Microwave included in kitchen?

  • How old are the appliances?

  • How loud is the dishwasher?

Bathroom

  • Is there a bathtub or just shower?

  • Does the bathroom vent effectively?

  • If the bathroom door is open, can you see the toilet from the living room?

  • Are there enough towel racks in the bathroom?

  • Is there enough shelf space in the bathroom?

  • Are the vanity lights bright enough to shave cleanly / apply makeup effectively?

Home Office

  • Are there enough outlets to plug stuff in?

  • Is broadband/DSL available?

  • What cable company services the city?

  • Can you have 2 phone lines? (separate fax line)

Parking

  • Is parking included?

  • How much for a parking spot?

  • Is it assigned?

  • Permit from city required to park?

  • What about guest parking?

  • Who plows the snow?

  • Is it tandem parking and will you have to coordinate parking times with the other tenants?

Neighborhood

  • Do you get cell phone reception?

  • Car insurance rates higher/lower?

  • When is trash pickup?

  • Near public transportation?

  • Near a grocery store?

  • Near a gas station?

  • Walking distance to a bar?

  • Are there sidewalks to run on?

  • Is there a health club? Does it suck? When is it open? Can you bring a guest?

  • Is there a pool? Does it suck? When is it open? Can you bring a guest?

  • Are there tennis/basketball/volleyball courts? Do they suck? When are they open? Can you bring a guest?

  • Is there a playground? Is it safe? Is it near a road? Can you hear it from your apartment?

  • Is the area fully developed? Are they going to put up a new building across the street and ruin your view?

  • Is it a walkup or an elevator building?

  • Is it easy to get to a highway?

  • What are the traffic patterns during rush hour?

  • Is the apartment address easy to find?

  • Are there good take-out places nearby?

  • Where is the nearest cleaners?

  • Where is the nearest 24 hour drug store?

  • Where is the nearest House of worship?

  • Where is the nearest Wal-Mart?

  • Where is the nearest laundromat?

  • Where is the nearest hospital?

  • Where is the nearest fire station?

  • Where is the nearest police station?

  • Is there a history of theft, vandalism or other crimes?

Potential Nuisances

  • How much noise comes through the walls? Are they party walls?

  • Do headlights come in the windows from passing traffic?

  • Do street lights shine in the bedroom windows?

  • Can you hear people in the hallway?

  • Can you hear the elevator?

  • What are the other tenants like? (look at the cars in the lot)

  • How noisy are they?

  • Do they have children?

  • Do kids live upstairs who will run around early in the morning on weekends and wake you up?

  • Are there students living in the building?

  • Are there businesses across the street that open early (before you want to wake up) and make a lot of noise?

  • Is there an intersection nearby that causes traffic to back up with the result of people honking their horns in front of your windows?

  • Can you hear traffic from nearby roads/highways?

  • Do airplanes constantly fly over your roof?

  • Can you hear the guy who lives below you snore all night?

  • Are there bugs?

  • Is the building old and require constant maintenance?

  • Does the building sway when it's windy?

  • What is the water pressure in the shower like?

  • Do the people with the balcony below/above/next to the apartment smoke? Does that smoke come into the apartment?

  • Do the people with the balcony below/above/next to the apartment sit on their balcony on their phone constantly?

  • Is there a bar across the street that has live music at night? Do they leave the door open so the whole neighborhood can hear the music?

  • Is the apartment situated where large events happen? (e.g. outdoor concerts, main parage routes, holiday road closures, etc)

  • Are there dogs nearby that bark constantly?

  • Are you near a park that will cause people to take your parking spot and turn around in your driveway?

  • Is the apartment on a street that is a commuters' shortcut?

  • Have there been mold or mildew problems in the apartment or adjacent apartments?

  • How often and how loudly are you going to hear ambulance, police and fire sirens?

  • Is the building in a flood zone?