How to Look
When contacting prospective landlords, ask these questions:
- How much is the rent? Monthly? Where is it paid? What is the penalty for late payment?
- Is the unit furnished or unfurnished?
- What kind of heat: Gas? Electric? Is it hot water? Forced air? Convective? Radiant?
- When was the wiring installed or upgraded?
- Are utilities included? If not, what is the average monthly cost for Electric? Gas? Heat?
- Is there a lease? How long? Can I sublet?
- Is a security deposit required? How much? When will it be returned?
- Who takes care of the trash and recycling?
- Who is responsible for repairs? Snow removal? Lawn care? Who do I call with a problem?
- Is parking available? Where? What does it cost?
- Are pets allowed? Will it cost me more?
- Is storage available? Where? Will it cost extra?
- Can you walk to the supermarket? Laundromat? Bus stop?
If you are interested, ask the landlord if you need to commit before leaving to prevent it from being rented to someone else. You often have to pay a deposit on the spot. Be sure to have a check or money order with you if you are serious about securing a place to live.