Questions to Ask When Renting a DC Apartment: 7 Essential Things You Need to Know

Questions about Apartments?

The Washington DC area is known for its staggering cultural relevance and exciting neighborhoods. To that end, almost 1 million people call DC home making it the 22nd most popular city in America.

While DC has a virtually endless amount of positive qualities, the ease in which people can find perfect apartments often falls short of perfection.

That’s where our team is swooping in to help!

Based on our experience in the DC rental market, we’ve distilled the 8 most essential questions to ask when renting an apartment. Armed with these questions, you’ll be able to weed through which DC apartments are going to best fit your lifestyle and which you should let fall by the wayside.

questions, Questions to Ask When Renting a DC Apartment: 7 Essential Things You Need to Know

1. How Do You Accept Rent?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when renting an apartment yet one of the most overlooked.

Let’s face it, who is really using checks anymore? As a matter of fact, over half of millennials have never used a check in their lives.

Imagine then having to go to a bank and pick up a checkbook just for the purpose of paying your rent because your apartment only accepts them as payment. Furthermore, some apartments will require you to mail that check off to a management company that’s offsite.

If all of that sounds like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, you’ll want to make that determination prior to signing a rental agreement.

The good news is more and more apartments accept payments online through tenant portals!

2. What Fees Should I Be Aware Of?

Chances are, if you pay your rent on time each month, you’ll never have to worry about fees. That is of course if your apartment has a reasonable fee schedule.

Fees for apartments can range from common charges like bounced check fees, late payment fees, electronic processing charges, and more.

Understand what your apartment’s associated fees are so you can be prepared if you accidentally violate a policy.

3. What Is Your Guest Policy?

We get it, you have a new apartment in one of the most famous cities in the world and all you want to do is celebrate your good fortune by having a few friends over on a Friday night.

While all of that seems relatively non-consequential, you’ll want to make sure your DC apartment’s policies don’t say otherwise.

Some apartments will have visitor hours, express the number of nights a guest can stay over and more. To make sure the strictness of your apartment’s guest policy aligns with your lifestyle, put this query at the top of your questions to ask when renting an apartment.

4. Where Can I Park?

Does your apartment have onsite parking? If so, count your blessings. With almost 12,000 people per square mile in DC, onsite parking can be hard to come by.

Even with onsite parking available, will you be charged for a space and if so how much? If there is no parking in your complex, what does street parking look like?

Getting to the bottom of your parking situation early can prevent headaches having to pay for external garage spaces or parallel parking your car on crowded streets.

5. What Changes Can I Make to My Apartment?

DC is one of the most culturally expressive city’s you can live in. A lot of times, apartment renters like to take that expressiveness and customize their living space with it.

If this isn’t allowed by your landlord though, making such changes can be costly.

Find out if things like hanging up pictures, painting walls and more are allowed and whether or not the policy is going to work for your creative sensibilities.

6. How do Utility Bills Work?

Some apartments come with all utilities paid for. Most apartments today, however, are progressively moving utilities onto renter’s tabs.

Know what utilities are provided for, which aren’t, and how utilities are tracked within your apartment complex. Be sure to add the expense you’ll incur to your monthly rent so you’re financially prepared.

7. What Happens When My Lease is Up?

The last thing you’ll be thinking about when renting a new DC apartment is what will happen when your lease ends. Still, this is among the most important questions to ask when renting an apartment.

Some apartments allow you to switch over to month-to-month when your lease term is over. Others will raise your rent dramatically putting you in a position where you either have to move or offer up cash you don’t have.

Understanding how your apartment handles tenants at the end of a lease term before you move in will help you not only plan for the present but find a place that best supports your future.

Wrapping up Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment can be an exciting experience. Especially when you’re renting in an area like DC.

You don’t want to let all of this excitement lead to you forgetting important questions to ask when renting an apartment though.

Our recommendation is to compile a list of questions to ask every property manager. You can start with the questions we suggested above and add on anything else you’re curious about.

Be sure to always take your list with you to apartment viewings and never be shy to ask away!

If you’re looking for lovely and unique apartments in the Washington DC area, our team at DARO Apartments has you covered.

No matter what your taste and style are, we’re confident that the communities we manage will suit your unique sensibilities and provide amazing value for your dollar.

To get started finding your perfect DC apartment home, use our home finding tool today!


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Where to find us

2929 Connecticut Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20008

Contact details

  • (202) 363-2255
  • moc.tmgmoradnull@ofni

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