Renting apartments in Philly can be both exhilarating and stressful at the same time. But the lease is a legal binding document and when you sign, you must be ready, willing and able to uphold your end of the contract.
While you are required to care for your apartment and pay rent on time, your Philadelphia apartment property manager must hold up their end as well. So how do you negotiate a lease and make sure you ask the right questions? Below are some tips and questions you can ask before making the leap and sign the lease on any apartments in Philly:
1. How long is the term of the lease? Most Philadelphia apartment rentals are for one year and sometimes a property manager will offer you a slight break in the rent if you agree to more than one year. But the length of time is important – how long do you expect to stay in an apartment for rent in Philadelphia and how can you make sure you are protected once the lease expires? If you decide to vacate before the lease is up, you are still responsible for payments until the landlord or management company finds a new renter. If you decide to stay longer than the lease – can you go to a month to month rental agreement or do you need to sign a new lease?
2. Can we negotiate on the rental fee/security deposit? Apartments in Philly, especially in desirable locations are always in high demand, however, there is no harm in trying to lower your monthly rent or negotiate a lower security deposit or a payment plan.
3. Do you allow pets? Many Philadelphia apartment buildings do NOT allow pets but Post Brothers Apartments has a very pet-friendly policy.
4. Is this a quiet place? Ask if there are any rules and regulations to penalize renters for playing loud music, etc. especially late at night. Many Philadelphia apartment buildings have “quiet” rules and if you crave your privacy and sanity, you may want to make sure you are not moving into or next door to a “party” apartment,
5. What if I need repairs? This is an important question as toilets and sinks get stopped up and things break. While you as the tenant can always change a light bulb – there might be repairs that are beyond your expertise.
6. Will you clean/paint the apartment in Philadelphia before move in? In many states and cities, this is standard – but be sure to ask.
7. Can I fill in an inspection form noting any scratches and other breakage around the Philadelphia apartment? Ask for an inspection form you can fill out so you are not charged for repairs that are not of your doing. If they do not, make up your own and send to the property manager or landlord.
8. Can I hang pictures/paint the walls? Everyone wants to make their apartment their own – so ask what you can and cannot do.
9. Where are the smoke alarms? Apartments in Philly should be equipped with smoke and gas alarms. Make sure these are working when you move in.
10. How are the windows? Ask the manager to show and explain to you how the windows work and if they close correctly (especially if the place is more than 10 years old – often times windows may be in bad shape and can affect you in cold winters/hot summers.
11. Amenities (Parking, air conditioning, heat, etc.?) Many times the amenities for Philadelphia apartments are listed out in the rental listing or ad but you need to know for sure. So ask about washer and dryer facilities, parking, air conditioning and other amenities you might need.