Questions to Ask When Touring an Apartment Community

The purpose of touring a luxury apartment community isn’t merely to view the property. It’s also an important opportunity to interact with the property’s representatives. Take this chance to ask the property management team specific questions about the property and management. Not only are their answers important, but the attitude can tell you a lot about the company’s culture. You want a property management team that is knowledgeable, responsive, forthright, and takes your questions and concerns seriously. Before you sign a lease is the best time to gauge these factors. Here are some important questions you might start with:

What sets your property apart from others in the area?

As you look at various apartments, you’ll probably start to notice that a lot of properties boast many of the same amenities. (Granite countertops come to mind—once a top-of-the-line luxury, they’ve now become virtually standard in many neighborhoods.) know this, and look for ways to set themselves apart from the competition. If you’re torn between several similar properties, this knowledge can help you make that decision.

It’s a hassle. Going back and forth to confirm a booking. Getting directions. Organising a checkin time. All this is time-consuming. With hostels and hotels, all that info is right there on the site when you (instantly) book, and they have a manned reception desk around the clock.

What do you do to maintain safety and security in the community?

Some possible security features: a doorman, a buzzer system, alarm systems in individual units, a fire alarm, a deadbolt, chain, and peephole on your front door, good outdoor lighting (especially in parking lots), etc. Of course, this can vary a lot by neighborhood, and the lack of some of these features isn’t necessarily a problem. For example, garden apartments by their very nature have multiple entrances and a doorman would be impractical. Still, these are good considerations to keep in mind. 

How do you handle maintenance requests? 

Make sure you go in depth with this one. Can you make requests online? How long does it typically take them to respond? Do they offer 24-hour emergency maintenance and a line to call for emergency requests? There’s nothing like going without air-conditioning for several days of a Texas summer to make you wish you’d asked.

Mаnаgіng рrореrtу thе right way іѕ all аbоut transparency, hаrd wоrk аnd соmmunісаtіоn. At the еnd оf the day, уоu have to set thе rіght expectations by gоіng thе еxtrа mile аnd еnѕurіng thаt уоu have сlеаr lіnеѕ of соmmunісаtіоnѕ open. One of the wауѕ уоu саn fіnd yourself gеttіng іntо hоt wаtеr іѕ іf уоu set the wrоng еxресtаtіоnѕ and уоu fаіl tо соmmunісаtе.

Whеn you fіrѕt рurсhаѕе a nеw property, уоur fіrѕt ѕtер ѕhоuld be to rеаllу get tо know thе hоmе аnd all the ѕуѕtеmѕ thаt соmрrіѕе thе home. Eасh оf уоur hоmе’ѕ systems have a ѕресіfіс ѕеrvісе іntеrvаl аnd lifespan. Thе lаѕt thіng you want tо happen whеn уоu’rе renting оut уоur home is fоr one of thеѕе ѕуѕtеmѕ tо fail and hаvе the саuѕе bе duе tо thе lack of рrеvеntаtіvе mаіntеnаnсе оr care.

(For dog owners): Are there any restrictions on dog sizes or breeds you allow?

While your leasing agent will take your pets into account when arranging tours, make certain that the property will accept your dog. Some only allow pets under a certain weight limit and/or breed restrictions. Some commonly prohibited breeds include pit bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, mastiffs, Great Danes, Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, and wolf hybrids. Mixes that include prohibited breeds may also be banned. The breed requirements are often set by the property’s insurance company and are not up for negotiation.

How do you promote a sense of community?

Does the community sponsor social events for their tenants to get to know one another? How often? What sort of events are coming up? If you are new to the area and looking to meet people this is especially important, but even if you’re local and have an established group of friends, getting to know your neighbors can be a great experience. Especially in an apartment setting where people move frequently, tenant mixers can make an enormous difference in creating a sense of home.

What improvement projects do you have planned for the community?

If the property agent can tell you several projects in the works, this is a great sign that the community is being kept up and cared for. Of course, if your tour reveals everything to be up-to-date and in great condition, this might be a moot point—perhaps no improvements are necessary in the foreseeable future. But the secret to these well-kept properties lies in regular updates. If you notice areas that seem outdated—a gym with older equipment, for example, ask about these areas specifically. Be sure to ask about timeframes, as well—will the improvements take place while you’re still around to appreciate them?

What are your lease terms?

Understanding the terms of your lease is essential before signing anything. If you think you’re ready to commit, go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Keep in mind your own circumstances. If you might have to move earlier than planned, for example, if you work for a large multi-city company that requires frequent transfers, make special note of the penalties should you have to break your lease early. Understanding these terms can save you a lot of stress (and money!) in the long run.

What are your guest policies?

Many properties have strict rules about guests. For example, they may limit house guests to a two-week stay, in order to avoid extra tenants who aren’t on the lease. If you plan to have a friend visit you for a month over the summer, this could be important! Equally important, if you have local friends who may visit or you plan to throw parties, ask about guest parking. Are special guest parking passes required? Is there ample unmarked parking in the area? These questions can have a significant impact on your social life.