6 Things to Ask Your Property Manager

By Brittany Loeffler on June 14, 2019

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Before moving into a new apartment, it’s important to know who you should contact when you have a question. Some rental property owners decide to hire property managers to take care of maintenance, leasing, and basically completely manage the property. When a property manager is involved, chances are that you will never talk to the actual owner of the property.

If you are working with a property manager, you should act as if they are your landlord. They write up the lease, take care of maintenance requests, and more. So, before you sign a lease and move in, here are some questions you should ask your property manager.

property manager

via Pixabay

How Can I Pay the Rent?

Some property managers are part of large companies that have a whole process for paying rent. This can be done online through various accounts or by sending a check to their office. However, if you are living with roommates, it’s important to ask if the rent should be paid all together or if you can send your portion of the rent separately.

You should also ask about any grace periods or penalties in case your rent is late one month. While you should always make sure to pay your rent on time, it’s a good idea to learn your property manager’s policies regarding this situation.

Who is Responsible for Utilities?

There are some property managers or landlords out there that will take care of all the utilities. Most of the time, though, tenants will have to take care of the utilities. Ask your property manager which utilities you are responsible for and which companies to call and have the accounts transferred to your name.

If there are any utilities included in the rent, like water, for example, make sure that there isn’t a cap on the bill. Sometimes owners and managers will put a certain amount towards a utility and then the tenant will have to pay the difference if it goes over.

Who is Responsible for Maintenance?

The beauty of living in a rental property is that if something breaks, you usually aren’t responsible for fixing it. If there is a leak in the roof, the laundry machine breaks, or whatever may go wrong, it’s typically the owner’s responsibility to fix it. However, some property managers have some guidelines when it comes to maintenance, especially if they have to fix something you broke.

Ask your property manager who you should contact and how to send in a maintenance request. By following these processes, you’ll have your apartment fixed in no time.

Are Pets Allowed?

Every apartment is different when it comes to allowing pets in the unit. Some property managers have strict breed requirements. Some property managers have a strict no pet policy. It all depends on who you rent from. So, if you have a pet or are thinking about getting a pet, ask your property manager about their pet policy and if there is an additional deposit that you must pay to have the pet.

Who is Responsible for Snow Removal?

Nobody likes getting up in the morning and finding that they have to shovel snow and ice away from their sidewalk. Some property managers include this service in the lease, so you don’t have to worry about salting and shoveling the sidewalk. However, there are some property managers that do not shovel and require tenants to do it. Ask your property manager about their policy and if it needs to be removed by a certain time of the day.

What Happens If I Break the Lease?

Life changes quickly, which means you may not be able to stay in the apartment throughout the entirety of your lease. While a lease is legally binding, there are ways to get out of it. Sometimes your property manager may allow you to find someone to take your place on the lease, called subletting. You may be asked to pay a fee to break the lease that may be less or equal to the remainder of the rent due. Before signing the lease, make sure you know how to get out of it if needed.

Get to Know Your Property Manager

It’s always a good idea to get to know your property manager and be friendly towards them. You never know what favors they may do for you if you’re just friendly with them. Before signing your lease, it’s a good idea to know all of the property manager’s policies when it comes to the payment of rent, breaking the lease, maintenance requests, pets, snow removal, and utilities. Make sure you have a clear understanding of these policies before signing the lease because a lease is legally binding and you don’t want to accidentally breach it because you didn’t understand a policy.

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