17 Questions to Ask When Looking For an Apartment: Renters Checklist

How to Make an Informed Apartment Decision

When looking for an apartment, it’s important to ask your potential landlord some important questions. You want to make sure you’re properly informed before moving in. We have some of the most important questions to ask when looking for an apartment!

Rent-Related Questions

  1. What’s included in the rent?
  2. What utilities are included in the rent?
  3. What’s the typical monthly cost of each of the utilities if not included in rent?
    • Water: $ _____ . _____
    • Heat: $ _____ . _____
    • Electricity: $ _____ . _____
    • Gas: $ _____ . _____

Questions Regarding Amenities

  1. Does the house/apartment have air conditioning? Y / N
  2. What is the laundry situation and where are the machines located?
  3. Are they shared by the entire building? Y / N
  4. Is there a cost to use them? If so, what is the cost? $ _____ . _____
  5. Is the cost for both the washer and the dryer? Y / N (Keep in mind that this can become expensive!)
  6. Is parking available? Y / N
  7. If yes, is there an additional cost? Y / N
  8. What is the additional cost? $ _____ . _____ per month

Questions Concerning Leasing Fees

  1. Are there additional fees for any of the following?
    • Signing the lease at a later date Y / N
    • Administration processing fees  Y / N
    • Subleasing fees Y / N
    • Approval fees Y / N
  2.  Always trust your initial instincts – If something doesn’t seem right, go with your gut. It’s usually (or more often than not,) correct.
  3. See before you sign – Never sign a lease without visiting the property first. Students often regret doing so because the property is misrepresented either online, in writing or over the telephone. If for some reason you are not able to visit, have a friend or parent do so on your behalf before you sign.
  4. Your school may have resources – Some schools have lists of approved landlords, property management companies or properties that previous students have rented. Check with your college’s student affairs office to see which resources they have available.
  5. Consider renter’s insurance – Purchasing renter’s insurance can safeguard you just in case the unthinkable happens. It’s certainly up to you but it’s definitely worth considering!
  6. Read the lease – Take your time reading over the details and, if you need help understanding, do not be afraid to ask for help.

Renter’s Checklist

  1. Check out lighting to see if there is a good amount of natural light. You don’t want your electrical bill to be sky-high.
  2. Do locks work properly? You should feel safe when you are alone at night.
  3. Window quality -Are they old or drafty? This may affect the temperature inside!
  4. Check Faucets if they are leaky or are rusty and toilets are functioning properly.
  5. Check water pressure in the shower and the bathroom’s tile grout.
  6. Keep note if the walls are well taken care of or blotchy.
  7. Pantry and cupboard sizes – Do you have enough closet space – can you live with the size of the closet? storage space?
  8. Check if the carpeting and flooring are clean and note any damage to them.
  9. All appliances should be up to date and working condition. Check them all.
  10. Front landscape and entryway should be well-maintained.
  11. Check the location and number of outlets, noting both. Also, check to see if the outlets work! It can certainly help with your furniture planning.
  12. Check if the air conditioning/heating systems work properly and ducts are clean.
  13. Do neighbors seem friendly, courteous, trustworthy and easy to get along with?


  1. Check safety of the location – Is it a safe neighbourhood? What is the crime rate? What kind of crimes occur. Car break-ins are very common.
  2. Convenience – Consider what you’d like to be near and map out if the places are located within walking distance.
  3. Is your campus easily accessible? – Can you get to your classes, the library and other campus locations quickly and easily when you need to? Is public transit close by and are transit stops sheltered for winter weather.

Be sure to visit our website to check our large selection of apartments and townhomes to find an affordable home that fits your needs and budget.

MHA offers hundreds of high quality apartments for any stage of life, whether you’re moving for school, a new job, or downsizing. MHA Apartments have amazing amenities in every building, from fitness centres to games rooms to outdoor community seating areas. You can search our variety of apartments here! Contact us at each specific building for more information, we’d love to hear from you!