Maybe you’re a first-time renter at an apartment in a college town where the landlord makes you show them the receipt of your mattress cover (Can someone say eew?). Or you’re renting your first apartment as a professional and there is an actual island in the kitchen that allows you to be fancy and invite some friends over for a $10 bottle of wine from Target (Oh, this? It’s from a boutique winery you’ve never heard of). We all know what it feels like to call something your very own for the first time. Picking the right place to rent can be tricky. Instead of calling up Dad on this one, use our list of questions below to help you decide where to rent!

  1. How big is the apartment?
  2. What is the monthly cost of rent?
  3. How long is the grace period for my monthly rent payment?
  4. How much does the average utility bill cost (you will most likely have to call the utility company)?
  5. Does it run on gas or electric?
  6. How much is the security deposit?
  7. How long is the term of the lease (6 or 12 months)?
  8. What will it cost for me to buy out of my lease?
  9. What is your sublease policy?
  10. Will I need a guarantor in order to rent?
  11. Who is responsible if one of my roommates does not pay their rent?
  12. Is Internet and satellite included in the monthly cost of rent?
  13. Is there storage provided?
  14. Who mows the lawn (house or duplex)?
  15. Am I allowed to paint the interior walls?
  16. How do I report a work order to maintenance?
  17. Are pets allowed?
  18. What is the cost of the pet deposit? Is it refundable?
  19. Is a washer and dryer included? If not, are there hookups?
  20. Do I get a reserved parking spot and is it covered?
  21. How many parking spots does each unit receive?
  22. Does this area have good schools (if you have a child)?
  23. When I move out do you deduct cleaning fees (like carpet) from the security deposit?
  24. What proof do I need to provide of existing damage so I am not charged when I move out?
  25. Is renters insurance required?

Happy renting!