Are you looking for a new apartment or house? Apartment Therapy has some advice about what questions you should ask before putting your name on a new lease. We’re featuring this on Consumerist because there is advice about negotiating extra fees and deposits for cats, a crucial topic for our readership.
Here are some of their tips:
- Color the place in your own image. Ask if you can supply your own paint colors. If the apartment hasn’t yet been repainted before you sign the lease, you may be able to choose the colors.
- Find out whether pet fees or deposits are negotiable. You may be able to pay a refundable deposit instead of higher rent if you have a pet.
- Who pays for what? Make sure it is entirely clear which utilities you are responsible for, and which the landlord pays for. Same with outdoor maintenance–are you in charge of caring for the lawn and clearing snow, or finding someone else to do it? Is the landlord going to dump lawn chemicals in your yard come spring that you’d prefer to keep your kids or dog away from?
- Alternate payment methods. Can you pay be electronic transfer or PayPal, eliminating the need for paper checks?
What questions are you always sure to ask when signing a new lease?