Questions to ask a potential landlord before renting

Questions to ask a potential landlord before renting
Questions to ask a potential landlord before renting

When you are choosing a house for renting you are choosing a place to stay for a considerably long period of time.
When you choose a home, you also choose a landlord. It is important to develop an everlasting relationship not only during your period of tenancy but otherwise as well, so there are no problems during your stay, or during your exit.
When renting a house, it is important to ask as many questions to your potential landlord so you can ensure all the details and terms are clear.

Finding the right apartment to rent is a crucial decision. More so if you are a first-time apartment renter; it affects your life, lifestyle needs, commuting time, eating habits, work life and much more!

But before you finalize your kind of renting place, make sure to ask the right questions to your potential landlord before signing on the dotted lines of the rental agreement. It is extremely important to do a little background verification and research because after you have signed a lease, it may become difficult to cancel it.Here are a few tips for renting a house.

Here are a few renting tips and questions to ask before you rent.

1. Verify and do a background check on the landlord
Check for internal information of the landlord. His reputation in the area will help a great deal to know about his character and personality traits. You can ask the neighbors, watchman, close-by shop owners and more! This will help you to understand the kind of person he is, strict, or adjusting. 

2. What includes in the rent.
Some amenities available in the flat for rent may be covered in the monthly rent, while others may not be.
Before signing the agreement, ask the landlord if charges for cable, gas, electric, water and other connections are covered or will have to be paid by you separately. Some landlords may charge a fixed amount for electricity, while some may get a separate meter installed for your own awareness and limitations. Most of the times, the landlord pays for water and sewer charges to the authority. But it is always better to come clear of all these terms.

3. Decorating the apartment.
While a few landlords can be extremely fussy with even a nail put in the wall, others may still show some leniency. Discuss what internal changes you can do to the apartment, be it adding a partition, drilling the walls, furniture fixtures and placements, flooring or ceiling changes, balcony grills, or washroom changes. Discuss changes you want to do and later change them back to the original if required during your exit. These terms need to be set clear so no issues crop up during the period of the stay or during your exit from the rented agreement.

4. Maintenance policy
A maintenance cost is certain when you stay in a building or a society. This cost is for all the general charges like a watchman, maintenance of garden, repairs etc. This maintenance cost is usually added over and above the rent and is charged as Rent + Maintenance. Most often landlords will take this directly from you rather than you paying it separately to the association. Resident welfare associations or management bodies of gated communities will have a separate system, dealing directly with the landlords. Check how the rented tenants are part of the system and discuss with the landlord on all possible scenarios.

5. Discuss the lease terms.
Most of the rents are based on lease periods. Make sure the time-frames and to’s and from’s are clear. Discuss the lease terms and conditions in detail, before putting them on paper. Don’t hold back, if you may not understand any terms and conditions, ask as many times, but be clear.

You may ask for important property documents, such as water and electricity bills, title of the property. Be clear about what the property documents are, whether it is under a Loan or mortgaged.

Come clear of the security deposit, how will it be calculated or adjusted when you leave? Have all the receipts of payments done. Discuss the percentage of rent increase, the time-frame for such increase, in case the rent is deposited late what are the consequences?
Also, ask about timings, guests, pet policy and food and lifestyle habits.

Questions to ask a potential landlord before renting
Questions to ask a potential landlord before renting

6. Emergency repairs
During emergency situations and repairs, who would bear the cost? Say a faulty tap, or a broken door handle, broken wash basin, water seepage, who will bear the cost? Will the tenant have to take care by himself or bear the cost and later reimbursed by the landlord? or will it be based on how or by whom the damage is cost?

7. Guest policy
Guests walking in and out of your rented accommodation will depend on the landlord and the building policy and association. If you are staying in a private accommodation where the landlord also resides in the same vicinity, it may be completely his protocol, but while staying in a rented building association or gated society will depend on the association’s or society’s norms. It is best to discuss when and who can enter or stay within your rented accommodation and till what time. The rules may vary for families, bachelors, girls or single men and women.

8. Safety and security
There is nothing more important than a good, safe and secure home. The safety precautions need to be taken. Be it changing the main door lock of your flat, installation of CCTV’s within the building and society, a reliable watchman. Do your own background verification about the neighbourhood’s safety quotient. Discuss potential safety requirements with the landlord.

9. Parking facility
Usually parking facility is covered under the rented apartment. Discuss your parking requirements with the landlord. The parking space is usually covered in the monthly rent. Generally in a gated community tenants enjoy the parking space which is allotted to the landlord.

10. Social infrastructure

Check the social infrastructure and neighbourhood. See the surrounding areas. How are the transportation modes, how easily are things of daily requirements available? Are they at a walkable distance? How developed is the area? Most of the times even car parking may be difficult to get in and out.

Be clear on what exactly you are looking for, also understand what the landlord is expecting out of the tenant. Always remember before finalizing the house, ask as many questions to the landlord. Ask, ask, ask should be your mantra!

With HousingMan you can find a variety of homes and deals on brand new apartments at great locations which promise great connectivity and social infrastructure. In case, you are looking for your own forever home at an affordable budget which you can call your own,  HousingMan is the go-to place. Covert your monthly rents into affordable emi’s. With all kinds of homes, for all kinds of budgets, owning your own home has never been easier.