Question:  What are the advantages of renting a property?

– Answer:  These days, an increasing number of people are renting and the quality and range of rented accommodation is better than ever.

Renting offers more flexibility than owning – you can move somewhere else relatively quickly – useful if you plan to move for a new job or is going away to study. Also, it’s less hassle than being an owner as you won’t need to pay for property maintenance – most of that will be done for you.

Question:  Can I have a pet?

– Answer:  Some landlords outright forbid any cats or dogs.  Check what your landlord’s policies are. You also should ask about visitors with pets.

While not all landlords refuse to allow pets, many say they do for financial reasons. Dogs can scratch up doors and hardwood floors. Also, not every pet can handle long hours left alone in an apartment while their owner is at work.

Barking disturbs other tenants, and pet accidents can stain carpets and wreck flooring. Also, pet owners are absolutely expected to clean up after their animals.

Question:  What about parking?

– Answer:  You will probably have your own designated parking spot in your apartment community. However, please ask the apartment manager about parking rules.  And if you plan on having a regular guest (like a boyfriend or girlfriend) visit your apartment, be clear on where they are allowed to park, too.

Question:   When is rent due each month?

– Answer:  Be sure you know what day of the month the rent is due. Mark it on your calendar that you are never late. Before signing a lease, find out what the landlord considers a late payment and if there are any fees associated with paying rent after its due. Some landlords allow a grace period of a few days before they consider rent payment late.

Question: What are the benefits of choosing a rental home over a hotel for vacation?

– Answer:  You get your own space, including a kitchen; rentals are cheaper and cozier for larger families than several rooms at a hotel; and you get to live in an area where real people (not tourists or business travelers) live.

Question:  What do you do if something goes wrong in the apartment?

– Answer:  Some buildings have on-site building managers whose door you knock on when the faucet leaks. Some landlords hire a service that you call — but only during business hours. And in some small buildings, the landlord might tell you to call him directly. You need to know how the landlord wants you to respond in an emergency.

Question:  Is smoking permitted?

– Answer: If you smoke, you will want to know if smoking is permitted in the rental unit. If it’s not, you should see if smoking is allowed anywhere else.

Question:   What are the penalties for breaking the lease?

– Answer:  If you get an unexpected job transfer to the other side of the country six months into your 12-month lease, you’ll need to break your lease. Please ask our consultants if there are any fees that apply if you need to do this.