Some tips for hunters

Looking for an apartment for next year? Before you sign a lease, be sure you have examined the apartment you expect to rent, and inquire about the following:

Is there a resident manager? How does one contact the manager or owner for repairs? Are laundry facilities available? Are there enough washers and dryers for the whole complex and what is their condition? Are the hallways and stairways well lit? Is there sufficient security? Do the exterior doors lock securely?

Are or have there been bugs and/or rodents? Are the plumbing fixtures adequate? Is the heat adequate in winter? Do you have your own thermostat to control the temperature? What utilities are to be paid by the tenant? What is the average monthly cost for these utilities? Is there a charge for parking, utilities, television antenna or cable hook-up, or late payment of rent?

Do the windows have screens, storm windows? Are they in good operating order? Do the windows have locks on them? Is the carpet stained or worn out? Has the landlord agreed to replace it? Are there any water stains on the ceilings indicating leaks?

Are you permitted to hang plants or paintings on the walls? Is the building soundproof? Is there adequate storage space? Are there enough cabinets? Is there adequate ventilation? Exhaust fans in the kitchen? In the bath? Do you see mold anywhere?

Can you find a place to grill outdoors that is convenient? Are there restrictions on guests, parking, pets, etc? Is there adequate parking? Is there space to put your

icycle/motorcycle? Is there a place where packages (Parcel Post, UPS) may be dropped off?

Are there enough electrical outlets? Is there enough counter space in the kitchen? Is the dwelling on or near the Huskie Bus route?


It is worth knowing who you’re dealing with. Check with current tenants and other persons who have had previous dealings with the landlord. If you are shown a model apartment, get the landlord’s written assurance that the size and condition of your apartment is the same or equivalent to the size and condition of the model. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the landlord, even on fundamental issues such as rent, payment of prepaid rent, and interest on prepaid rent and security deposits. Terms the landlord might refuse to accept in February he may be willing to accept in March or April.

Ask for a copy of the lease, including any addenda, so you can review it in detail before signing. Most importantly, realize that the lease is the document which is presumed to express the final agreement of the parties. Get all promises the landlord makes to you in writing. The Student’s Legal Assistance Office attorneys will be glad to review your lease with you before you sign it. Please call ahead for an appointment.