5 Questions For Renters To Ask

How Soon Do I Need To Move:  It’s a pretty basic question, but the most important. If you’re looking too far in advance, know that each landlord has their policy on how long to hold a vacant unit for move in. See a listing that you like that is still occupied? Make sure to confirm the availability date. Some landlords require a 60-day notice in their lease and begin marketing properties as soon as notice is received. The minimum move-out notice required in Arizona is 30-days, and it must be in writing.

What Is The Pet Policy:  Pet policies can vary from rental to rental, so it’s important to check the policy for each listing. Is there a limit on the number of pets you can have, a weight limit, or breed restriction? Do they accept cats? What are the fees? Is there a monthly pet fee, in addition to a pet deposit or one-time pet fee?

How Long Is The Lease:  Most residential leases are for one year. Shorter terms are sometimes available in select markets, but with a premium. Short-term and vacation rentals are typically furnished, but make sure you know exactly what is included.

Is Anything Included: What is included in your rent payment can vary from rental to rental. Who pays for utilities like electric, gas, water, and trash collection?  Are any services included such as landscaping, pest control or pool care? Who is responsible for the HOA fees? Are there any repair fees or co-pays you will be responsible for? Will you be required to have renter’s insurance? Will you be paying tax on your rental amount? Make sure you have a clear break down of what costs are your responsibility and what are the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.  

What Will It Cost To Move In:  Now that you know what monthly costs you will need to include in your housing budget, you need to know what it will cost to get moved in. Security deposits are rarely less than a full month’s rent. In Arizona, a landlord cannot hold more than one and ½ times the monthly rent as a deposit. So if you have a rental that is $1000 a month, the maximum deposit amount can only be $1500. This does not, however, limit non-refundable fees that can be charged, like cleaning fees, pet fees, administrative fees and application fees. Fees held as a security deposit will NOT be used as rent for the last month of your lease but must be returned to you within 14 days of your actual move out.