Whether you’re finally getting your own place, or just moving into a new apartment, you’ll want to thoroughly read over your lease and ask the important questions before signing anything. Here are 15 things to consider asking your landlord or management company before getting the keys.

Lease-Related Questions

Read over your lease several times and consider having a friend or family member review it with a second set of eyes, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Ask the basic questions about the content within the lease itself, but don’t forget to think proactively and ask about things like breaking your lease early or whether or not your monthly rent might increase.

  1. How long is the lease term?
  2. If I decide not to re-sign at the end of this lease, how many days’ notice will you need?
  3. Are there any penalties for breaking my lease early? If so, what are they?
  4. Will my rent ever increase? If it does, how many days’ notice will I receive?
  5. When is rent due and how do I pay it? What are your late payment policies? 

Building-Specific Questions

Find out everything you can about the place you’re considering calling home, from how to submit a maintenance request to what kind of safety protocols are in place. Whether you’re looking for an apartment with 24/7 maintenance or free parking, make sure the one you choose checks all of your boxes.

  1. How do maintenance requests work? Is maintenance available 24/7?
  2. What’s the building’s pet policy? Is there an additional pet fee or deposit?
  3. What are the rules and restrictions for personalizing my apartment?
  4. What is the parking situation? Is there an additional fee for a parking spot?
  5. What security measures are in place for my safety? Are all entry points only accessible by tenants? Are there carbon monoxide and smoke detectors?

Miscellaneous Questions

You might also want to ask questions about the neighborhood, especially if you’re new to the city. Find out when the trash is picked up, where you should go if you get sick, and if there are common areas where you can socialize with the other tenants in your apartment building.

  1. Where are the nearest grocery and hardware stores?
  2. Where is the nearest hospital or urgent care center?
  3. Is the building handicap-accessible?
  4. How is trash collected? What are the city’s recycling rules?
  5. Do tenants have access to any common areas? If so, what kind of spaces are available?