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I have a new answer for everyone and I think it's better...:::: * 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.

* How do guests obtain entry and what type of security is in place? If there is an electronic system, test it out to make sure it works.

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

* How is the apartment 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 a 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.

* Who are the neighbors? Inquire if many children live in the building or if people with pets live around you.

* What parking is available and is it included in the rent? Ask if any special permits are required to park in the lot or in the streets around the building.

* 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 apartment 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?

* What types of provisions are in the lease for excessive noise or overnight guests? Read every line and be sure you understand what your part of the deal is.

* 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.

Apartment Condition

* What conditions are the floors in? the walls? the ceilings?

* ... the windows? are they drafty?

* ... the doors? are they solid? the locks?

* Any signs of water damage?

* Is there a smell?

* Were there pets in the apartment before? (think: carpets, allergies)

* Will the landlord be painting/repairing before you move in?

* Is there trash around the apartment? When will the landlord remove it?

* Are there loose cables around? (ie a cable tv cable you won't use)

Apartment Structure

* Are there enough windows? Is it sunny?

* How is the ventilation?

* How big are the rooms?

* How high are the ceilings?

* What is the storage space like in the apartment in general?

* ... in the kitchen specifically?

* Is there an attic? A basement? Are they shared? Are they clean?

* ... is there access to the apartment from them? (do they compromise security?)

* Is the kitchen big enough to handle the number of people who will be using it at the same time?

* Is there enough counter space?

Water

* How is the water pressure? (test if you can)

* How is the hot water? Is the hot water heater separate?

* What kind of tub? shower? kitchen sink?

* Does the sprayer work in the sink, if there is one?

* Signs of water damage around the bathroom/kitchen sink?

Utilities

* Exactly what utilities are/are not included in the rent?

* How is the apartment heated? How much does it cost to heat?

* Where are the heat sources located? Baseboard? Radiators?

* Where are the electric outlets located? Are they grounded?

* Where are the telephone jacks located?

* Does the doorbell work?

Appliances

* Refrigerator? Does it smell?

* Stove? Oven clean? Bottom part clean? If not, will landlord clean it?

* Dishwasher?

* Is there furniture there that the previous tenant didn't/won't remove? (Do you want it?)

* What laundry facilities, if any, are available? If there are machines, are they free? clean? safe? If there are not, are there hookups, or is there a laundromat nearby?

Outside

* Is there a yard? What is it like?

* How well is the outside of the building maintained?

* What are the neighbors like? Are there children?

* What is the neighborhood like? the town?

* What is the car traffic like? foot traffic?

* What do you see from the windows in each room?

* Is there parking? For how many? On street parking available?

* Does the landlord plow the driveway? Hire someome to do it?

Security

* How can you enter the apartment?

* Are the stairs clean and well lit?

* Is the door to the building locked separately?

* Is the outside/driveway well lit?

* Will the landlord change the locks on your apartment?

* Do the doors to the outside have windows? peepholes? chains?

* Are the windows to the apartment at ground level?

* Is the apartment a danger in a fire? (exiting, alarms)

Other concerns and questions

* Why is the apartment vacant?

* What kind of rental agreement does the landlord want?

* When is the apartment available? * Are there any apartments available?

* How much is the rent?

* Are the utilities (water, heat, hydro) included?

* What appliances are included in the rent?

* What is the monthly charge for parking (interior or ext.)?

* Where is the laudry room located?

* Which floor is the room/apartment on?

* How many floors are there in the building?

* How old is the building?

* Which direction is the apartment facing?

* What is the size in square feet?

* Is the floor hardwood, carpet or parquet?

* Is there a private balcony?

* Can I install a sattelite dish?

* How can I apply? What is required (deposit, references)?

* Are pets allowed?

Check for:

o Smoke detectors

o Electrical outlets

o Doors and windows

o Locks

o Lighting (natural and fixtures)

o Appliances

Once you have identified ads for housing that appear to meet your needs, it is important that you be able to communicate with landlords in order to determine more specific information.

Be sure you know the answer to all these questions before deciding to move in an apartment or signing a lease.

* How much is the rent?

* What day is it due? To whom is it paid?

* Is the apartment available for immediate occupancy? (That is....may I move in right away)?

* Is there a security deposit? If so, how much?

* What is the policy for returning the deposit?

* Is a lease required? What is the term of the lease?

* Are there restrictions that apply to the apartment?

* May I have pets?

* Are children permitted?

* Who should be contacted in case of emergency? If repairs are needed?

* Are any utilities included in the rent? If so, which ones? What utilities are not included?

* Is there a manager on the premises?

Questions to ask the landlord when interviewing face-to-face or on the TDD.

* Is the apartment wheelchair accessible?

* Are the kitchen and bathroom fixtures modified for use by a person in a wheelchair?

* Are there wheelchair accessible laundry facilities available on the premises?

* Is a lease required and if so for how long?

* Are there any utilities included in the rent and if so which ones?

* What utilities are not included in the rent?

* How much is the rent?

* Is rent subsidy available?

* What day is the rent payment due?

* To whom is the rent paid?

* Is there a security deposit required and if so how much?

* What is the policy for returning the deposit?

* Is there a manager on the premises?

* Who would be contacted in case of an emergency?

* Who should be contacted when repairs are needed?

* What restrictions apply to the apartment?

* Is the apartment available for immediate occupancy?

* When can I move in?

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

AnswerLandlords want to get an idea of who they are renting to. The property is valuable to them and they want to be sure it holds its value for future tenants. They will ask questions about your habits (sloppy person, whether you can fix things, if you like to have parties, if you invite family members or friends to move in, do you work, do you hold a job and for how long, do you drink/do drugs/smoke, etc). They also want to know how good you are with your finances and whether you pay things on time so they will want your credit report.

If they are interviewing you, they will probably walk you out to your car so they can take a look at how your car is treated. If it is trashed on the inside, they can make the assumption that you are a messy person. If it looks neglected like it needs repair and a good wash....you get the idea.

  • ** NEW ANSWER**

As a former landlord, you really have to DISCRIMINATE. NOW, before everyone whacks out, by discriminate I mean be very picky. DO NOT disciminate simply because someone has kids, the color of their skin, sex, sexual orientation etc.. because that means NOTHING! Little quiet white couple with no kids or animals is what landlords want. BUT that little couple could be lying deadbeats that will trash your house. Look for character. If they have kids, are they well behaved? Ask and REQUEST at least 4 references, 2 from previous landlords. Run a check on them ($29.95) on the internet. Do the couple or people looking to rent treat each other and themselves with respect?? If not they sure the HECK won't respect your property. GET a security of at least TWO months. If they can't afford that, they can't afford to pay you every month. Also go to your Town Hall and copy Landlord/Tenent laws from their books. BE PREPARED> Many middle class landlords get shafted.

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Q: What questions do you as the landlord ask of references of your future tenant?
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