Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › 10 Questions to Ask Your Future Property Manager Before Moving

You’ve found the rental of your dreams. All you need to do is fill out a few forms and get the keys. But before you pack your bags and sign on the dotted line, ask your future property manager these ten questions.

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1. What’s the Guest Policy?

As harmless as it seems to have a pal crash for a few days, some apartments have strict rules regarding overnight guests or future roommates. Check with the property owner to find out if guests can stay overnight—and, if so, how many and for how long. If you’re considering subletting or Airbnb-ing a room, you’ll also want to learn about any restrictions or required fees.

2. Are Pets Allowed?

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding apartment pet policies. Some don’t allow any animals, while others may allow small dogs and cats. If you have a pet or intend to get one, check the lease or ask your property manager. The same goes if you plan on watching a friend’s pet for the day. You may be required to pay a pet security deposit or other pet fees.

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3. Can I Install New Home Features?

Just because you rent an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t improve your lifestyle with home automation, from smart lighting to security systems. However, before installing any technology, check the lease terms. Some rentals may have a contract with a particular security company, while others may only allow you to install DIY systems that aren’t hardwired. If you have a specific product in mind, ask the owner.

4. How Can I Get in Touch with Property Management?

It’s important to know where your property management is located and how to communicate with them should you experience a building maintenance problem. Ask how to submit a maintenance request, who to contact in an emergency and how, and how quickly, property management will respond to a request.

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5. What Are the Terms of the Security Deposit?

Along with first and last months’ rent, many apartments also require a security deposit. If you are required to pay a deposit, find out if it’s refundable when you move. Legally, security deposits should be refundable, but your property manager can withhold a portion of it should you damage something in the apartment or break the lease. Make sure you have the terms of the deposit in writing.

6. Are There Additional Fees?

Before you budget for your new living expenses, you’ll want to know about any costs your rent doesn’t cover. You may have to pay extra for a covered parking spot; a storage unit; guest keys; pool, gym, or laundry room access; and internet, cable, and landline services. Inquire about prices and if these fees are required, should you prefer to use another gym or laundry service, for example.



7. Does the Rent Cover Utilities?

Depending on the apartment building, some of your utilities, such as water, may be included in your rent, while others—like electricity, gas, landscaping, and trash pickup—may be charged separately. Confirm which utilities you are responsible for and whether you’ll need to manage an individual account with your local utility company to turn on service before moving in.

8. How Do They Prepare the Apartment Before I Move in?

The last thing you want to do when moving into a new place is clean up a previous tenant’s mess. Ask your property manager what they will do to prepare the apartment, from steaming the carpets to fixing a leaky faucet. You should also find out if the locks to your apartment will be changed before you move in.

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9. How and When Do I Pay Rent?

The best way to stay on the owner’s good side is to pay rent on time and in full. Find out when rent is due each month and where to submit payment, whether you drop it off at the property manager’s unit or mail it to a particular address. You’ll also want to know when a payment is considered late and what the late fee is if there is one.

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10. What Am I Responsible for as a Tenant?

Most apartment renters aren’t responsible for lawn care or cleaning communal areas, but you may be expected to maintain other areas. If you have a small garden or balcony, ask the property manager if you’re required to overlook its upkeep. If your oven or air-conditioning unit breaks, will management fix it or charge a fee? Make sure you know what areas you must maintain.


Signing a lease is a big commitment. Keep the process as smooth as possible by speaking with your future property manager and getting these questions answered before moving in. If your next big move is with your significant other, check out this handy compilation of facts, too!

About :

Jonathan is a relocation specialist who writes about all things moving, packing, and unpacking. Along with contributing to ForRent, he writes for iMove.com and Movearoo.com.


  1. Marie Henry says:
    I just received keys to a new apt and told that I had 10 days to bring up any repair issues.

    I went to take a walj through and found the patio lock was brokem and no bar installed. The dishwasher was filthy and rusty. The kitchen sink needed a good cleaning, little things which annoyed me.

    I went right back to the manager snd told her about the patio and she was so nonchalant about the whole situation. She said “no one would climb up to a patio unles they were spiderman”

    Nonetheless, she immediately called the handyman about it. I asked her to call me when the repair was done. 24 hrs later, she still hadn’t called me.

    I called anyway and found out it was done.

    i am a bit perturbed by this. I have been driving around with a trunk and backseat full of yhings but cannot bring myself to take them into the new apt which is 25 miles away from where I now live.

    I started thinking of writing a letter to the regional manager but I do not want the site manager to feel slighted.

    I have decided to speak directly to the site manager so as to clear the air. After all, this is a really nice but expensive apt.

    What are your thoufhrs?

    • Hello Marie and thank you for your inquiry! You did the right thing in speaking with the site manager. Keeping track of all issues, dates and times will serve you best when reporting to upper management. All the best Marie!

  2. Jean Cunningham says:
    I find most lanlords lie about the locks being changed especially if it’s been vacant awhile and the cleaning of the Apt?

    What advice do you have?

    • Hello Jean, you may run into an issue when the apartment you are supposed to move to does not admonish the look and feel that you expect. If you feel that the property manager has not done a complete job of cleaning than my best advice is to do it yourself, Yes, you may incur a cost with handling these responsibilities but at least you know that you are not living in less than perfect circumstances. Let the property manager know (if anything) that it needs to be cleaned again. take photos and prove your case. They should be able to get your new apartment the way you want it to be.

  3. Flora ogar says:
    I need a house to rent or Townhomes 4 bed rooms or 3 bed rooms
  4. I know that before the apartments rent to you, they have to show you your exact apartment.  This situation happened to me. I paid security deposit and the first months rent before I had gotten to look at the exact apartment before moving in.  It was not as I expected.  I had told the manager about the circumstances.  she had given my money back in full.

    • Kd, some people move from state to state without seeing their apartment. Especially if they travel often. Floor Plans, 360 tours and actual images of the apartment can all assist in verifying your new rental space. In your case, property management could have been misleading you from the start which could result in an unhappy trade. The best bet is to see the place in person and visit the community setting if you can. That way you know what to expect.

  5. Chrissy H. says:

    I’m going to be looking for an apartment in St. Petersburg area as I’ll be coming from STL.  Any recommendations on where some safe areas are as I’m not really all that familiar.  Also, I have 2 small dogs and still in a Chapter 13 that will be paid off in October.  🙂  Any suggestions or anyone that could work with me would be fantastic.  I’m looking to move in November, however there’s a possibility if I land this job I applied for, may be in the next month or 2 at most.  Please help with any advice or direction to go.  I’ve tried Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow etc….

    • Hello Chrissy, congrats on your Chapter 13 coming to a close. I am sure that knowing that the last payment near brings a sigh of relief. To check out more information about the Tampa/St. Petersburg area please check out our new metro page for that area. We are merely just an advertising resource for apartments nationwide so offering specific details is out of our control. That’s where you come in with a bit of legwork to finalize your new move.

    • Hi Chrissy, this link will take you to our new Tampa Bay Metro Page. We can not specifically say which areas have a higher/lower crime rate, however, the new metro page as your apartment resource guide for the area. We offer the top 5 cities and neighborhoods which could serve as valuable information to you since you are coming from Seattle. All the best in your apartment search and early congrats on the new job!

  6. These are great questions to ask. I would also ask what’s your ideal lease duration? If the landlord is looking for a two-year lease, and you can only commit to a year, then it doesn’t matter how nice the apartment is.
  7. Cheryl Jarrett says:
    I’ve never negotiated a price when renting. Can this really be done? They advertise a fence and allow pets(which I will pay a pet fee) but the fence is half laying over and there’s no gate at the beginning of the driveway. Can I do something about that? In top off three times the rent and pet fees, fixing the fence and buying a gate will be almost impossible but this property is idea for our family and children’s schools.


    • Hi Cheryl, before you go negotiating anything be sure you have done your research and you know the plans that the property management company may have for the fence/gate. Definitely weigh your pros and cons and see if it’s worth being mentioned. On a lighter note, it doesn’t hurt to ask! All the best Cheryl!

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