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5 Questions Every Renter Must Ask

Finding a place to rent is tough, and finding one that you enjoy renting as much on Day 365 as you did on Day 1 is even harder.</br></br>Most renters are familiar with the nasty little surprises that crop up in every rental scenario; something buried in the rental contract that went unnoticed, or some deficiency in the property that wasn’t spotted on the walkthrough.</br></br>And, those can happen to even the most seasoned renter, but here are five questions you can ask to avoid some of the sneakiest snags in the rental game as we enter the new year:</br></br><strong>1. “What are the neighbors like?”</strong></br></br>A good landlord will be able to answer this question, and won’t shy away from doing so. You have a right to know who lives in your community, especially when that community lives on the other side of the wall.</br></br><strong>2. “How much does it cost to heat/cool this place in winter/summer?”</strong></br></br>Most renters know that utilities are handled differently in every rental, but what some may not know is how much of an impact it can have on your monthly bill.</br></br>For example, if your electricity is covered in the cost of rent, but your unit is heated with gas, it could really start to add up in winter. Make sure you ask so you don’t get surprised.</br></br><strong>3. “Who’s the cable provider?”</strong></br></br>This is becoming more important in some areas as cable companies continue to consolidate with little regard for improving service.</br></br>Overpaying for bad cable service is yet another surprise no renter wants to face after all the boxes are unpacked.</br></br><strong>4. “How bad is the traffic?”</strong></br></br>People almost always remember to ask about the parking, but what about the traffic? How easy is it for you to reach main arteries during the time of day when you’re commuting?</br></br>Traffic volume is also good to consider with regard to ambient noise while you’re home. Listening to a bus roar by every 15 minutes may not be ideal if your new apartment has poor sound insulation. And, speaking of …</br></br><strong>5. "Did the last tenant complain about noise?”</strong></br></br>Loud music, barking dogs, kids, street noise, low-flying aircraft … the list of possible disturbances is long, and gets longer the thinner your walls are.</br></br>Ask these questions before you sign on the dotted line and you’ll be that much closer to finding the rental of your dreams.
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