Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing Your Lease

Jun 25, 2024

The text "What's included with this unit?" beside a high-rise condo building
The text "What's included with this unit?" beside a high-rise condo building

Finding the right rental property involves more than just location and price. To ensure a smooth renting experience, it's crucial to ask your potential landlord or property manager the right questions before signing a lease agreement. Here are key questions to consider asking while on your rental search, no matter if you're a first-time renter or seasoned, ideal tenant.

Lease Agreement and Terms

  1. Lease Term: What is the duration of the lease? Are there options for a month-to-month lease or a longer lease commitment?

  2. Rent Payment: How much is the monthly rent? Are there preferred methods for rent payment (e.g., bank transfer)? Is there a grace period for late payments, and what are the late fees? If you pay rent with Chexy, you'll earn credit card rewards, and your landlord will not have to sign anything.

  3. Rent Increase: Are there any plans for rent increases in the near future? How much notice will you receive before any increase?

  4. Security Deposit: How much is the security deposit? Under what conditions is it refundable?

  5. Additional Fees: Are there any extra costs, such as maintenance fees, screening fees, or utilities, that are not included in the rent?

  6. Early Lease Termination: What are the terms for breaking the lease early? Is there a penalty, and how much notice is required for a shorter lease?

  7. Is Renters Insurance Required? Renters insurance helps cover the cost of your belongings in the event of unexpected accidents, such as a fire. Some provinces and landlords will require this insurance, while others will not.

Property Details and Policies

  1. Rental Unit: What is included in the rent (e.g., utilities, parking)? What appliances and furnishings are provided?

  2. Pets: Is there a pet policy? Are pets allowed, and if so, is there a pet deposit or additional monthly pet fees?

  3. Guest Policy: Are there any restrictions on guests staying overnight?

  4. Maintenance: How are maintenance requests handled? Is there an emergency maintenance hotline?

  5. Parking: What is the parking situation? Is parking included, and if not, are there street parking options?

Legal and Administrative

  1. Credit and Background Checks: Will you conduct a credit and background check? What information do you need for the application process?

  2. Renter's Insurance: Is renter's insurance required? What does it typically cover?

  3. Lease Renewal: What is the process for lease renewal? Are there any changes in terms or rent at renewal?

  4. Legalities: Is the lease agreement legally binding once signed? What are the consequences of violating terms?

Miscellaneous

  1. Quiet Hours and Rules: Are there specific rules regarding noise or quiet hours?

  2. Installing Technology: Can you install technology like a TV or make other permanent changes to the rental unit, such as hanging pictures on the walls?

  3. Community and Other Tenants: What can you tell me about the community or other tenants in the building?

Conclusion

By asking your landlord these basic questions before signing a lease, you can ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of what the landlord expects from you and what you expect from them, leading to a positive renting experience. Remember to document all agreements in writing and to review any records related to the property. Taking these steps will help you find the ideal rental property and landlord for your needs.

Once you've found your dream apartment building and are ready to pay rent, get started with Chexy to earn rewards on your biggest monthly expense.

Subscribe to The Chexy Rundown for exclusive credit card and travel deals you won't want to miss.

Finding the right rental property involves more than just location and price. To ensure a smooth renting experience, it's crucial to ask your potential landlord or property manager the right questions before signing a lease agreement. Here are key questions to consider asking while on your rental search, no matter if you're a first-time renter or seasoned, ideal tenant.

Lease Agreement and Terms

  1. Lease Term: What is the duration of the lease? Are there options for a month-to-month lease or a longer lease commitment?

  2. Rent Payment: How much is the monthly rent? Are there preferred methods for rent payment (e.g., bank transfer)? Is there a grace period for late payments, and what are the late fees? If you pay rent with Chexy, you'll earn credit card rewards, and your landlord will not have to sign anything.

  3. Rent Increase: Are there any plans for rent increases in the near future? How much notice will you receive before any increase?

  4. Security Deposit: How much is the security deposit? Under what conditions is it refundable?

  5. Additional Fees: Are there any extra costs, such as maintenance fees, screening fees, or utilities, that are not included in the rent?

  6. Early Lease Termination: What are the terms for breaking the lease early? Is there a penalty, and how much notice is required for a shorter lease?

  7. Is Renters Insurance Required? Renters insurance helps cover the cost of your belongings in the event of unexpected accidents, such as a fire. Some provinces and landlords will require this insurance, while others will not.

Property Details and Policies

  1. Rental Unit: What is included in the rent (e.g., utilities, parking)? What appliances and furnishings are provided?

  2. Pets: Is there a pet policy? Are pets allowed, and if so, is there a pet deposit or additional monthly pet fees?

  3. Guest Policy: Are there any restrictions on guests staying overnight?

  4. Maintenance: How are maintenance requests handled? Is there an emergency maintenance hotline?

  5. Parking: What is the parking situation? Is parking included, and if not, are there street parking options?

Legal and Administrative

  1. Credit and Background Checks: Will you conduct a credit and background check? What information do you need for the application process?

  2. Renter's Insurance: Is renter's insurance required? What does it typically cover?

  3. Lease Renewal: What is the process for lease renewal? Are there any changes in terms or rent at renewal?

  4. Legalities: Is the lease agreement legally binding once signed? What are the consequences of violating terms?

Miscellaneous

  1. Quiet Hours and Rules: Are there specific rules regarding noise or quiet hours?

  2. Installing Technology: Can you install technology like a TV or make other permanent changes to the rental unit, such as hanging pictures on the walls?

  3. Community and Other Tenants: What can you tell me about the community or other tenants in the building?

Conclusion

By asking your landlord these basic questions before signing a lease, you can ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of what the landlord expects from you and what you expect from them, leading to a positive renting experience. Remember to document all agreements in writing and to review any records related to the property. Taking these steps will help you find the ideal rental property and landlord for your needs.

Once you've found your dream apartment building and are ready to pay rent, get started with Chexy to earn rewards on your biggest monthly expense.

Subscribe to The Chexy Rundown for exclusive credit card and travel deals you won't want to miss.