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12 Questions to Ask Before You Rent
Don't just jump into a lease in Jonesboro or Northeast Arkansas! Do your research and make sure it's right for you
#1 How to I pay rent, and what are the late fees?
Of course if you want to rent a home you have to be able to pay for it. Find out the options for paying your landlord and what the penalties are for paying late.


#2 Under what circumstances will you enter my apartment without notice?
Sure, you might not own the building, but you still want to know who can enter with or without your permission. Also think through safety, and ask in what situations this might or might not occur


#3 What is the guest policy?
It's probably fine to have a friend stay the weekend, but you could run into issues with a long-term guest


#4 Where will I park my car?
Some rentals have reserved parking or first-come-first-serve. Asking this question up front could keep you from getting a ticket or starting off on the wrong foot with a neighbor


#5 How far in advance do I need to give notice before moving out?
Normally you must give 30-60 days heads up if you plan to move out. Some companies automatically renew your lease at the end, which could cause a headache if you don't address this now.


#6 What is the penalty for breaking my lease?
None of us has a crystal ball to tell the future, so it's never a bad idea to find out what hoops need to be jumped through if you end up being relocated, need to change rentals, or want to purchase your own home


#7 What changes can I make to the rental?
Everyone wants to put their own touch into their home, so just ask what restrictions there are. Many places do not want nail holes in the wall, while others don't care as long as everything is the way it was when you got it


#8 Are any utilities or services included in the cost of the rent? If not, how do I pay those?
You may find a rental with utilities included, but in many cases you will be responsible for these yourself. If the home is all electric you might just deal with one utility company, but in many cases your heat, AC, and internet could be three different companies.


#9 What are my options for Lease renewal?
Whether you decided to stay after this lease expires or you want to move out is yet to be known. However, knowing what your options are at that time can keep you from being locked in to a situation you didn't expect.


#10 What do I have to do to make sure I get my security deposit back?
Typically as long as the property is left in the same shape it was in when you moved in you will be fine. Asking this question before you move it could make all the difference in the world.


#11 How do you handle emergency repairs?
The last thing you want to do in the middle of the night when a water pipe busts is to realize you didn't ask this question. Find out now if 24 hour service is available and save the phone number to call in a maintenance emergency


#12 Should I be renting or buying a home?
Many don't realize the monthly payment on a home you purchase can be significantly less than the cost to rent that same home. Coming up with a downpayment is intimidating to most people, but there are many options in our area that could offer as low as 0% downpayment options on a home. Many people also think they have to have perfect credit to buy a home. While credit score does play a part, there are plenty of other factors that could help you buy your own home instead of renting.
If you are interested to see if buying a home is right for you schedule a time to chat or call a Century 21 expert today at (870) 931-8784 for guidance.
* Adapted from http://www.apartments.com/blog/12-questions-to-ask-a-property-manager-before-signing-a-lease#sthash.nkAycKAp.dpuf
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