What questions should you ask an apartment complex when looking at it?

June 22, 2020 by Ted Bauer

Last week, we talked about some factors that apartment complexes evaluate you on -- predominanly financial in nature, obviously. (Similarly, we have talked about whether you can get an apartment if furloughed or laid off, with the short answer being "yes.") Now, we're at an interesting intersection right now. People are starting to move again (good), but we're also seeing new spikes in COVID cases (bad). Above all, we want you to be safe and only tour a complex if you really think you need to right now -- or consider using a mask if you tour one. Almost every complex we have a relationship with is offering virtual tours right now. We know virtual tours aren't always the same exact thing, but health > the need to do a tour. You can also check our full properties list, most of which have 25+ photos of interiors and common spaces. We've also recently started to pull out some specific complexes, like since-2016 builds in Plano or 2019/2020 builds in Frisco. There's lots of photos and video possibilities out there if you need to tour that way.

OK, so ... if you are touring now (good) but doing it virtually (even better!), what questions do you need to remember to ask the apartment complex manager? What will give you a good picture of what it's like to live (and often work, right now) there? Here are some questions to consider.

Questions to ask an apartment complex

  • What are the cost to move in? (App, Admin, Deposit)
  • What extra monthly fees are there? (Trash, pest control, CAM or common area maintenance, Amenity, Package Service, and pet fees/deposits- if applicable)
  • Valet Trash or Trash Chutes? If Valet, when is pickup scheduled?
  • Is water sub-metered or allocated?
  • How do I receive my packages?
  • Where do I park? Where can my guests park?
  • Where can I take my dog out? (if complex does not have a dog park on site)
  • How do I buzz in visitors or delivery drivers? (Mostly for complexes that have indoor hallways with keycard required for entry) 
  • Is there cable/internet pre-wired at the complex? If so, what are the service providers?
  • Do you have a preferred electricity provider? If so, do you have a PROMO code? 
  • What is the procedure for work orders/maintenance requests and what is the response time? Is there emergency maintenance service available?
  • What forms of rent payment are acceptable; are there fees associated with credit / debit card payments? 
  • Are there resident events? If so, how often?
  • What are the hours of operation for common spaces (club house, pool)- are there quiet hours?
  • What are the rules around painting and decorating? If pictures/fixtures are hung on the walls, am I required to fill in holes and repaint before move out? 

We can also help you navigate some of these questions with complexes. Holler at us.

About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.