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8 Important Questions to Ask When Moving Into an Apartment

8 Important Questions to Ask When Moving Into an Apartment

Nearly 7.9 million people in the U.S. move each year - and that's only counting moves from one state to another. Some of these moves are to the next neighboring state, while others are longer distances.

You may be considering a move yourself, especially if you can work remotely and avoid the pitfalls of living in the city.

But before you sign a lease and make your move, there are some important questions to ask when moving into an apartment or townhome. Here's what you need to ask your future landlord.

1. Is There An Application Fee? 

First and foremost, before you apply, you should ask about application fees. An application fee may be charged separately or lumped together in a single move-in fee. This fee may include other charges such as a key or key card deposit. This fee is used to cover the costs of conducting a background check and a credit check, so it's unlikely that you can avoid it.

2. What is Your Pet Policy?

For many renters, finding an apartment also means finding an apartment for their pet, so it's important to ask about the apartment's pet policy. Ask if the building is pet-friendly and what pets are allowed.

Even if a property does allow pets, many have restrictions on the number of pets you can have, the weight limit of your pets, or breed restrictions.

If they do allow pets, ask about the fees. There may be an additional pet deposit required, along with your security deposit. You may also have to pay an additional monthly fee for your pet.

When planning a move, always consider your pet's needs, too, and add them to your moving checklist. If they need outdoor space, make sure there is a park or pet relief area nearby. Make sure your apartment is large enough for you and your pet.

a cat and a dog laying in the grass

3. What Utilities Are Included?

One of the key questions to ask before you rent an apartment is about the utilities. Are utilities included in the rent? If so, which ones?

It is uncommon for all utilities to be included in rent, especially utilities like internet and cable. However, water and garbage may be included. It's likely that some utilities may be included, but not all.

4. How Do I Pay Rent?

Much like determining how to pay your utilities, you need to determine how to pay your rent. Many properties have the option to pay electronically via their website or a third-party vendor. However, they may charge a small fee for paying electronically.

If that's the case and you want to afford the fee, you may want to pay via check and have it mailed to your landlord or dropped off in person at the leasing office.

You also need to know when the rent is due and how late fees are assessed. Obviously, it's best to pay rent on time to avoid late fees, but sometimes emergencies do occur, and you may have to pay rent late. Ask if there is a grace period (i.e. within 5 days of the rent due date) and what the late fee is.

a person sitting on a couch holding a bunch of money

5. How Do I Pay Utilities?

Now, you need to figure out what service providers the apartment uses and how you will pay your portion of the utilities.

There are a few different ways you can be proactive and save money on your utilities. You could install smart LED bulbs that can pair with your smartphone and be controlled or dimmed via an app. You can also seek out "energy vampires" - devices and appliances that consume electricity whenever they are plugged in and not in use, and disconnect them.

Check your provider's website, too. They may offer a discount if you sign up for automatic billing or if you pay via your bank account instead of using a credit or debit card.

6. What Types of Apartments Are Available?

You may also want to ask what types of apartments they have. Larger apartment buildings may have more than one type of apartment. They may have studio and 1 bedroom options.

They may also have multiple floor plans. Perhaps their upper-floor apartments have balconies. Or maybe they have 2-bedroom units available but with several different floor plans.

You may prefer one layout over another. They may also differ in price, so if you prefer to save money, you can opt for the cheaper of the two floor plans.

7. What Are the Amenities? 

The final of our moving tips is to ask about the amenities. Amenities are the biggest perks of renting - that's why we offer plenty of amenities such as a playground, rock wall, and picnic area. Other perks include 24-hour emergency maintenance, on-site maintenance and management, and a central laundry facility.

a playground with a yellow slide and a red slide in front of an apartment building

8. Do You Require Renters Insurance? 

Some properties require renters insurance. Even if it isn't required, you should consider it. Renters insurance will cover the cost of your possessions in the event they get lost or damaged due to vandalism, burglary, or fire.

Fortunately, rent insurance is often very affordable. Shop around, and you are likely to find renters insurance for $20 a month or less.

If they do require it, ask about how to provide proof of coverage and what their minimum requirements are. They may have a minimum required for liability coverage or personal property coverage.

These Are the Questions to Ask When Moving Into an Apartment

These are only some of the questions to ask when moving into an apartment or home. We understand that you may have additional questions or concerns when looking for a new place to call home.

Fortunately, we can help. Ridgeport Apartments and Townhomes is a pet-friendly location with flex-rent payment options, gorgeous lake views, and more.

We're also only minutes away from downtown Wichita, making your commute into town for work or fun a quick, easy option.

Ready to book a tour? Give us a call at (316) 219-5255 or fill out our contact form for more information.