Before you move in, make sure you know all the necessary details around your move-in day. Nothing should be left unsaid prior to this date, and most importantly, everything discussed should be included in your rental agreement. Here are a few moving questions to ask your landlord to have all the information you need for your move-in day:
What day can I move in?
Make sure your move-in date is correct. Also ask if other tenants are moving into the building the same day as you (if your landlord owns multiple units in your building).
What will you do to prepare the unit before I move in?
Your Landlord will likely clean the unit, and you can usually negotiate certain modifications (like painting) before moving in.
If you're expecting certain tasks to be completed before moving in, make sure you add them to your rental agreement, especially if they're major renovations. You can add an addendum to the rental agreement stating that the construction needs to be done by your move-in date and state what renovations you're expecting. This adds a contractual obligation that your landlord follows through.
Were the locks changed?
It's usually the landlord's responsibility to change the locks between tenants. Even if prior tenants returned their keys, there's still a chance that duplicates are floating around. If your landlord isn't planning to change the locks, you should ask him or her to do so.
It's also your right to know how many copies of your key exist and who has access to them. It's common for landlords to have copies of your key on-site (in case of lockouts). If they have copies of keys on-site, they should be in separate lockboxes so that if other tenants get locked out, they don't gain access to your key.
When will I get my keys?
Ask your landlord when and how you will be receiving your keys. Make sure you have your keys (and that they work) prior to move-in day. It would be unfortunate to pay movers by the hour and not be able to get into your new apartment.
What doors/elevators should I use? And where can I park my moving truck?
Large buildings usually have a loading dock that leads to a service elevator (your landlord should provide you instructions on where to go). For smaller buildings, your landlord will likely advise you to use an alleyway, a particular parking spot or help you block off curb space for your truck. Ask your landlord for instructions to make sure everything goes smoothly on your move-in day.
What do I do in the case of a lockout?
Some landlords have a 24-hour locksmith service on call. It's more common, however, for landlords to keep copies of your unit keys on the property (typically in a lockbox).
Keep in mind that asking questions is half the game. It's also important to listen for good answers. Your new landlord should answer all your questions in a helpful way. Don't be afraid to ask for further explanation or to ask for what you need. It's better to communicate your needs before you sign the rental agreement. And remember, your rental agreement should be thorough and accurately reflect your landlord's answers.
This article completes our five-part series on questions to ask your landlord before signing a rental agreement. You've read the 20 questions to ask before signing your rental agreement, and now you're all set to sign. Read below to learn how you can manage a renter profile, your rental agreement, and pay rent all online.
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