3-questions to ask a landlord

Three Questions to ask
 When looking to rent an apartment
One of the biggest mistakes most apartment hunters make is not asking the right questions during a rental interview, and the first three issues should be about the monthly expense, such as the rent, the security, and the lease payment.
1) Question one, the rent:
The first question the apartment hunter should ask is how much is the monthly rent? Most property owners prefer to receive their monthly rent on the first day of each Month. However, if paying on the first is a hardship for you discuss this issue with the homeowner. If the landlord agrees to receive the rent payment on another date other than the first of the month, be sure the new Agreement is in the lease, and if there is no lease, make sure you get a written note agreeing to any date change regarding when rent payment is due by the tenant before they are charged a late fee. 
A) The second question to ask should be about a late payment fee, ask are there late charges when rent is not paid on the required date, if so, what is the amount of the late charge?
B) Thirdly, inquire about the heat, hot water, and lights. Ask the owner of the rental dwelling if any utilities are included with the monthly rent or are they separate?  Be sure to make a note of the service that is not supplied with the monthly rent payment because this will be an extra expense you will have to pay monthly.
C) Today, most homeowners charge the tenant with a portion of the water bill, if this is the case in your situation; ask how much will your portion of the water bill cost. Also, ask how is your portion of the water bill calculated because some property owners usually divide the cost of the water bill between the numbers of tenants residing at the residence. Using this method to determine your share of the water bill will cause your portion of the bill to fluctuate up or down each month depending on the number of occupied apartments at the time the landowner received the water Bill in the mail. 
Most apartment buildings have plenty of storage space such as the attic or basement; I call theses spaces free space, although most property owners may disagree with me. However, this would be a good time to ask if you can use the attic or basement for storage, hey, if the owner says no, you did not lose anything, but, if he said yes, you had gained some free storage space.  
2) Question two, the security
Most people who rent apartments prefer to get a security payment before the tenant moves into the rental unit. The State determines the security amount paid to the property owner by the person renting the property. However, the homeowner can legally hold the security from the first day a tenant moves in until they move out of the rental unit. The state allows the property owner to legally hold onto a renter’s security payment for the following three reasons:
1) The security is a guarantee that the rental owner will receive compensation if the tenant reneges on the lease. 
2) The security is also a guarantee of payment in case the tenant evacuates the premises without paying the rent.
3) The security held by the property owner is a guarantee of reimbursement in case the tenant causes damage to the apartment. 
Although most homeowners prefer to receive the security payment, before a tenant moves into the apartment, however, there are property owners who will allow you to make payments toward the security, so, if you are short on money, ask the property owner if you can make payments on the security.
3) Question three, the lease
The lease is the most important topic to discuss because the lease is the glue that binds the renter and the property owner into a legal contract between both consenting parties. Whatever was discussed, and agreed on, during the rental interview should be written in the lease. The lease, written correctly by the apartment owner, will protect both his and the renter's rights if either party fails to fulfill the obligations written in the lease.
Before signing the contract, if you have children or pets, this would be an excellent opportunity to discuss this two topics with the rental owner, furthermore, sit down and read the lease to make sure everything agreed on is written in the contract. 
Before signing the contract, take a tour through the apartment, and look for any damage caused by the prior tenant, to protect yourself, take pictures of the apartment before you move into the rental unit. If possible use a camera
that dates the photo’s.  

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