Once you have decided on the apartment and apartment community you want to move into, before signing a lease, you should inquire about how the apartment is prepared so you’re not surprised later. This is important because many apartment communities don’t spend enough time thoroughly preparing apartments. Here are some questions to ask the property manager or landlord about how an apartment is prepared –
1. Are the carpets/floors professionally cleaned? Getting carpets professionally cleaned is very important. A professional carpet cleaning is much different than a simple vacuum. Professional carpet cleaning uses special high-tech equipment to remove dirt, spots, and odors. This is vital because if you move into an apartment where the carpet or floors have not been professionally cleaned, you will notice a major difference in cleanliness. You should definitely ask the landlord if this will be done in advance.
2. Are the walls re-painted or are they simply “touched up”? Again, you’d like the apartment to be re-painted if possible so that the walls look clean and fresh – not like a quilt or patch-up job. This might not be something you immediately think to ask, but it’s important.
3. Have the keys been changed? Again, you may want the keys changed so that the old tenants or anyone else doesn’t have access to your apartment (just in case they kept a set or made a duplicate for themselves).
4. Are the names on the outside mailbox changed? If the outside mailbox has names, then you may want it changed so that the right mail reaches you without any confusion. Make sure it doesn’t have any reference to gender or your complete name for safety.
5. Are the cabinets re-finished or changed ever? You may want to get the cabinets re-finished or stained if they are looking worn out. Find out if this can be done before you move in.
6. Does a cleaning person come? In addition to cleaning the floors and carpets, will a cleaning person come? This is incredibly important. All the cabinets and appliance could be filled with remnants of food, the showers and tubs could have grime from the previous renter. Make sure the apartment will be thoroughly cleaned by a cleaning person.
7. Are the apartments inspected after the cleaning and before you move in? Find out when apartment inspections take place. This could be just before you move in to ensure that everything is in good shape. Find out the process.
8. Do you install any improvements when the apartment turns over? Some communities may choose to install improvements like LED lighting or double insulated glass windows once the apartment turns over so make sure you ask this so you know what to expect.
9. How do I get notified when the apartment is ready? Once the old resident moves out, the community will need to prepare the apartment before you can move in. Find out how long this will take so you can properly prepare for your move-in date.
10. Are all the included appliances in proper working condition? If there are appliances included in your rental, make sure they are all in proper working condition before you move in so you don’t have any issues later. Find out what happens if you notice something is wrong after you move in.
Renting an apartment can be an exciting experience, especially if you haven’t done it before. Take the time to ask the right questions about how an apartment is prepared so you know what to expect. These are important questions.