People rent today for a variety of reasons. Maybe they sold their Windsor home and want to take some time off from buying again. Or perhaps a couple can’t find what they are looking for in a property so they opt to rent until something comes up. Regardless, more and more are deciding to rent these days which is why the rental market is red-hot and there are limited homes available.
If you are thinking about renting, take a look at those often overlooked amenities that people forget to ask about. Make a check list and carry it with you whenever you visit a rental unit, apartment or home. Some renters hesitate to ask specific questions because properties are often scarce and they don’t want to be viewed as a tenant that can cause problems. But take a look at the below list and see if these are make or break deals for you when renting:
If you have a cat or dog, then obviously you want to make sure you find a home or apartment that accepts pets. Often, there is a separate pet deposit that is required. If, however, you are a renter that has pet allergies, then you may not want to live in a space that was recently vacated by a pet owner. Check with the landlord on their pet policy and see if it works for you.
2. Cellphone, Internet connection:
Most people today are getting rid of their landlines and rely solely on their cellphones and the Internet to stay in touch. But what if you find out your rental doesn’t get a good reception? That would be pretty frustrating to find out once the boxes are unpacked. So be sure to test your signal in all rooms of the rental property. Also, make sure to ask if the home has a wireless connection and gets a reliable signal. You can ask neighbours for their opinions if you are unsure.
Keep in mind that older apartment and homes don’t have adequate lighting. Take a look around and see if there is overhead lighting and enough outlets in the rooms. Also, does your rental get enough natural light? Be sure to check to make sure all the lights work as well.
4. Cooling and heating:
Even if you are looking at a rental unit on the hottest day of summer, don’t forget to ask how the unit is heated during the winter. This can make a big difference in your pocket-book. Ask for the cost of an average monthly heating bill to determine if it fits in your budget. And do the opposite if you are looking for a home in the dead winter. Ask about air conditioning, how old the system is and how well it works. Believe it or not, these questions are often neglected. One client was shocked when she discovered that the older apartment she moved into had a faulty heating unit that was decades old.
5. Windows and air flow:
Renters don’t often think of walking around an apartment or house to open the windows and give the air a sniff test. But it’s a good idea! Why? You want to make sure you get decent air flow and that your unit isn’t next to the trash dispensers or dumpsters. Or maybe your apartment is next to a restaurant and you can smell from your living room what that night’s dinner special will be.
This is a big question that surprisingly, renters rarely discuss with their landlord. Maybe they just assume it will be quiet, but it’s only they move in that they realize they live in the middle of a war zone. Visit the unit at different times of the day. Maybe your upstairs neighbours work during the day, but they love to entertain at night. Or perhaps the cute toddlers that live next door like to scream and cry throughout the night. And don’t forget that there is often work being done in apartment buildings, like repairs, landscaping or other improvements. Check to see what is happening in your area or the surrounding vicinity, especially if peace and quiet are important to you.
7. Package delivery
If you receive frequent packages in the mail, you want to make sure they arrive and stored in a safe place. Ask your landlord if there is an arrangement with the postal service should you receive such a delivery. If not, then you will need to make special arrangements.
Other suggestions: Check the water pressure, ask the landlord if the property has had any problems with bugs, mice or other pests and hours for the amenities, such as pool, weight room or laundry services.