If you don’t ask the right questions, you might end up with the wrong rental

When it comes to buying a home, you expect to be diligent and thorough. However, those qualities tend to be overlooked when you’re “only” looking for a rental since it’s not as much of a long-term commitment. You think, “If it doesn’t work, I’ll just leave.” This is not the attitude you should have if you want to enjoy your home in the present day. Even worse, failing to pay attention to details and asking the right questions could potentially cost you thousands in hidden fees.

1. Are there any move-in fees?

Every rental and every landlord is different. Be sure you’re aware of what move-in fees exist for your particular unit before signing any paperwork. For example, will you need to put up first and last months’ rent? What about a security deposit? If so, would this increase if you have a pet? If the move-in expenses end up being too expensive, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

2. Am I required to have renters insurance?

Renter’s insurance is another expense to consider while apartment hunting. Renters insurance typically covers your property in the case of a natural disaster, fire, theft and potential injuries that occur in your home. Although this type of insurance is typically not too costly, and something you should consider regardless as many apartments will require you have it. It’s important to note that if you have a large pet, renter’s insurance might be more difficult to obtain.

3. Do I have free range to decorate the apartment?

This ability varies between apartments. Some leases will allow you to decorate as you wish as long as it is restored to the same condition when you leave. Other landlords will include in the lease that they must approve any painting or decorating. If these stipulations aren’t discussed and explicitly described beforehand, you could risk losing your security deposit.

4. What is the parking situation?

Typically, you’re assigned one spot per rental unit—although there may be a fee attached to it. If you need an additional spot, that could have a fee as well. You’ll want to address this up front, as a tough parking situation can be stressful to work around. Make sure to also address guest parking and how it is monitored. Is there valet? Do I have to register my guests? Is there a fee? Parking situations largely differ depending on your building and its location.

5. Which utilities are included, if any?

Again, it varies between buildings. Ask specifically if cable, gas, electric or trash removal is covered. Is there WiFi in the building? If so, what’s the cost? If utilities aren’t covered at all, you’ll still want to be sure to ask how your monthly rate is calculated so you know how to maintain the unit. Ask if they know what an average rate is. The cost of utilities is a major factor in determining what your monthly costs will look like.

Overall, you should be sure to avoid your cheapest option. If the cost seems too good to be true, there are often hidden costs or something else they’re hiding. In this case more than any, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Be sure to get it all laid out on the table before committing to your new home.

Sometimes, the best way to avoid this kind of detective work is to hire someone to do it for you. If you’re looking for an apartment in the Naples area, contact Dante Disabato today. He is dedicated to helping you find the perfect apartment!

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.