31. Familiarize yourself with local landlord and tenant laws. A rental property lease may try to include terms or conditions which are not legally binding. For example, some cities prohibit landlords from asking for post-dated checks or prohibiting pets in rental units.
32. Consider or measure whether your current furniture will fit in the rental unit. It’s extremely frustrating to find out that some of your furniture is too large or will not fit through doorways after the fact.
33. Evaluate the accessibility to certain essential shopping areas, such as grocery stores. If you don’t own a car and there isn’t a grocery store nearby, it can become a real hassle.
34. If you’re able to move small appliances or supplied furniture around without causing too much of disturbance, do so when moving in to see if there is anything hidden. In some cases, rental damage can be hidden by the previous tenant behind household items.
35. Ask exactly what furnishings, curtains, appliances, etc. will be included with the rental. Just because a unit being shown has a dishwasher or washer/dryer, does not necessarily mean it comes with the rental; it may be property of the current tenant and has yet to be moved.
36. If the rental unit comes with air conditioning or central air, ask to test it and crank it up. Make sure that the unit is adequately blowing cold air and is capable of cooling the rental unit.
37. Check the set up of the shower and showerhead. If you’re a tall person, it’s important to make sure the shower is of adequate size and the showerhead isn’t installed at a low point.
38. Ask if you’re allowed to paint or hang pictures. Some rental property managers will prohibit tenants from making any modifications to the rental unit; and there can be penalties for doing so.
39. Determine how soundproof the walls are, especially in shared apartment units. If the walls are paper thin and there is minimal soundproofing, you may become easily disturbed by the neighbors.
40. Ask how packages are handled and received, if living in an apartment community, as some communities may have limitations regarding receiving and holding packages.
41. If you’re going to view a rental in an extremely competitive market with low vacancy rates, be prepared to sign a lease agreement on the spot, if you are satisfied with the unit. In competitive rental markets, good accommodations will be filled almost immediately. A delay in making the decision to lease may result in losing the opportunity to rent that place.
42. Ask about the various refundable and nonrefundable deposits required, before signing a lease or committing to move in. Some properties will have several types of deposits (i.e. pet deposit, security deposit, application fee, credit check fee, etc.) which can increase the initial cost of moving in.
43. Figure out the subletting policies and provisions. Student tenants commonly sublet their rentals over the summer months, but some properties may have strict criteria and rules relating to subletting which can make the process more difficult.
44. If renting a room within a home, ask the landlord how long the accommodation has been rented for. A landlord who has been in the rental industry for several years will have experience with previous tenants and hopefully a good understanding of the market, landlord and tenant laws, etc.
45. If you have any other questions, ask the landlord or property manager openly – don’t be shy! Student tenants usually have lots of questions and the best time to get answers is during the viewing appointment.
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate List of Things To Check & Questions To Ask When Viewing Student Housing - Part 1 & Part 2