Most people will end up utilizing an apartment some time in their lives. With such a universal occurrence, most people never really think too much about it until it’s time to get one. From New York City apartments, to Weber apartments and those in LA, people all over the country, and really all over the world find themselves utilizing apartments. With that in mind, here’s 5 things that you should ask before you rent an apartment!

  1. Decorating

Can I decorate? Most people love moving into a new place and making it their own by painting, wallpapering and hanging pictures. This could make for a slight problem if you’re one of these people, as most apartments would have been freshly painted/decorated ready for a new tenant. Even if it hasn’t, it’s worth asking before signing anything as some landlords will charge you for anything other than normal wear and tear, such as holes in walls made by nails, stains on carpets, etc.

Make sure to check with your landlord to pre-approve any decorating before making any modifications to your apartment.

  1. Pets

Depending on where the apartment complex is located and how much land there is nearby can determine on whether or not you’ll be allowed certain pets, if any at all! Dogs, even though they’re man’s best friend, can cause a stir in apartment buildings, especially if you can’t be there with them 24/7. Barking and whining while you’re gone and not having an open back yard can lead to some accidents.. Causing stains and odours, not nice for your many neighbours! ..Or a happy landlord for that matter!

Some strict landlords may only allow you to keep a small fish tank for example, although some are quite open with pet allowances as long as you are reliable and can keep them tame.

It’s worth double checking, in case you get visitors that bring their pets for a night or two, or if you have or decide to get a pet yourself.

  1. Breaking the lease

Most leases are set for around a year, give or take and longer or shorter period of time if you can negotiate. Even if you’re happy in a steady long term job, you never know what will turn up out of the blue, leaving you stuck when you have no choice but to relocate. Before signing anything, make sure to ask about any penalties there are for breaking the lease, making sure to get them in writing! Verbal agreements won’t be applicable.

Some landlords will make it easy and let you give a 30-day written notice to vacate, but with this you could expect to forfeit your deposit, pay an amount equal to one month’s rent, pay a pro-rated amount of turnover costs, and pay for any damage or wear and tear done.

  1. Parking

Usually you’ll find that you will be assigned a parking spot, although if you’re a relatively sociable person that likes to host gatherings, it could be difficult finding parking spaces for them. If you’re lucky, the complex may have reserved guest parking. It’s best to query about where guests are able to park their vehicles, especially if it will come about often.

  1. Affording the accommodation

This is the biggest question you should ask yourself. You need to get out a pen and paper and crunch some numbers, time to start budgeting! Experts advise that people should spend no more than 35% of their wages on housing expenses. You may think this is no problem, but there’s so much you forget to take into account. There’s rent for a start, water rates, central heating/air conditioning, electricity, food, cable, car expenses – insurance, MOT, fuel, etc.. (Or travelling expenses), phone bill, the list really does go on! Plus, it’s always good to save a little back for emergency repairs and luxury items that you absolutely can’t live without! – Maybe it’s time to find a roommate?!

All in all, finding the perfect apartment isn’t as easy as it looks. But as long as you know what you’re looking for, your living boundaries and what you’re willing to give up, you can make it easy for yourself. For more information, you can also check out and their many resources on finding the perfect apartment. Good luck!

5 Things You Should Ask Before You Rent An Apartment