In the United States, about one-third of people rent the home they live in.

If you live in certain cities in the U.S., the chances are even higher that you’re a renter rather than an owner.

If you’re going to be renting an apartment, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask before signing a lease.

Here’s a list of 8 important questions to ask your property manager before making it official.

The Basics of Property Management

Maybe you’re wondering: what does a property manager do? Well, a property manager is an intermediary between the tenants and the landlord, so that is who you’ll be interacting with when it comes to any apartment-related issues.

When a landlord hires property management for their rental property, how much does a property manager cost? It can vary, but it typically costs about 8-12% of the rental value.
What skills do you need to be a property manager?

Property managers need to have excellent customer service skills, strong communication skills, be exceptionally organized, understand basic marketing concepts, as well as basic bookkeeping and computer skills.

How much does a property manager make? This can vary greatly depending on the location and a number of other factors. The average salary for a residential property manager in the United States, though, is $64,191.

1. Am I Allowed to Have Pets?

If you have pets, chances are they’re a crucial part of your family. If an apartment won’t allow you to have your pets, you’re likely to keep looking until you find something suitable.
While not all apartments accept pets, many will allow them with a pet security department and other pet fees.
If it’s in your one-year-plan to get yourself a furry friend, it’s best to ask the property manager ahead of time or read through the lease thoroughly.

2. Is There a Guest Policy?

It may seem strange that an apartment can dictate whether or not you can have guests stay over, but that is indeed the case.
You’ll want to ask your property manager ahead of time so you know what the rules are about future roommates or overnight guests. It’s also possible that subletting or Airbnb-ing a room is a no-no, so ask about this ahead of time if it was a part of your plan.

3. How Can I Contact Property Management if I Need To?

Since the property manager is the go-to for any questions or issues you might have, you’ll want to know where they’re located and how to get in touch with them.

4. Are There Any Plans to Update the Apartment Complex?

Plans to update the apartment complex could be either a benefit or a drawback depending on how you look at it.
On the plus side, updates to the complex could mean you end up with better, newer amenities that add to the quality of your life. On the other hand, if a complex is planning to undergo a lengthy construction project, that could be annoying, inconvenient, and unpleasant.

5. Am I Allowed to Make Changes to the Apartment?

Some apartment complexes might ask for extra fees if you want to make aesthetic or functional changes to the apartment. Others might just require you to return the apartment to its original state before you move out.
You’ll want to look into this before moving particularly if you’re deadset on being in control of your apartment’s design. If an apartment complex is nitpicky about you making changes, you might end up having to choose between pricey fees or living in a space you don’t love.

6. How Are Emergency Repairs Handled?

No matter how new and state-of-the-art your apartment is, emergencies can still happen.
In the event that something unexpected happens in the middle of the night, it’s important to understand the protocol for dealing with it. Is there a way to get into touch with property management 24/7 in case of an emergency?

7. What Are the Terms of the Lease?

In the lease, you’ll find tons of vital information.
You’ll learn whether the utilities are included in the rent, what happens if you break your lease, which circumstances will lead to you not receiving your security deposit, and so much more.
It’s important to not just sign a lease unthinkingly. The terms of the lease are important to understand before you put your name to paper.

8. What Are My Parking Options?

If you have a car, it’s important that you have easily accessible and stress-free parking. Some complexes might have garages or parking lots, while others might not. Ask whether or not the parking spaces are reserved or first-come-first-serve.
If you’re told that there isn’t parking but there’s “plenty of street parking,” you should probably take this with a grain of salt. Drive by the complex at different times of the week and day to see just how much parking is really available. The last thing you want is constantly be struggling to find a place to park at the end of a long workday or when you’ve got groceries to carry in.

Your Property Manager is There to Help You
It’s important to understand that the property manager is there to answer your questions and field any issues you might have. You should always feel free to ask any and all questions before you sign on to a lease. Not all apartments have the same lease terms and therefore some complexes might be more suitable for you and your family than others.

Are you interested in learning more about our property management services? Feel free to contact us today!