It’s safe to say that Miami is one of the most sought-after rental markets in the nation.
The average monthly rent for an apartment in Miami is $1,700. Aside from the expense, such a seller’s market might mean dealing with unreasonable landlords.
No matter how beautiful the apartment, the policies of a prospective landlord can make it unattractive. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of six questions to ask before you sign your next lease.
1. Does the Landlord Have a Maintenance Policy?
This is something you want to hash out before you commit to anything.
Things can go wrong in any apartment, and repairs will be needed. It might seem tempting for you to go ahead and fix it yourself, or pay for a repair.
But resist this temptation, especially in Florida. By state law, a landlord is not required to reimburse you for any repairs you spring for. So ensure that your prospective landlord has a policy to cover repairs.
2. Are Lease Terms Negotiable?
Understand your lease before you sign it. Terms for leases can hide all kinds of nasty surprises, so make sure you discover these before they become a problem.
Scan through lease terms, and search for policies on pets (if this applies to you), or things like built-in rent increases. If you can’t negotiate more favorable lease terms for yourself, then it’s time to consider passing on the apartment.
Living in Miami may be your dream, but that dream can quickly wither if you’re stuck with impossible lease terms.
3. What Is the Cost of Utilities?
Be sure to query your landlord about the average monthly cost of utilities.
After all, comparing apartment prices is one thing, but the utility costs can sometimes represent a significant additional expense. Air conditioning costs in hot, humid Miami can skyrocket during the summer months.
WiFi for apartment complexes is another utility that you should inquire about.
4. What Happens With the Security Deposit?
It’s always wise to inquire about what will happen to your security deposit.
At the close of your lease, you have fifteen days to have your security deposit refunded. That is provided there are no damages. If there are, the landlord has thirty days to provide you with notice of these damages; otherwise, your deposit must be returned.
5. Is Renters Insurance Necessary?
Sometimes, renters insurance is a prerequisite for renting an apartment.
Of course, not all landlords require this. Still, it’s crucial to find out before agreeing to a lease. Also, you might want to consider acquiring renters insurance anyway.
It’s typically quite cheap and could prove to be of inestimable value if you’re ever the victim of theft, fire, or some other catastrophe.
6. How About Personalizing?
Before you commit to that apartment in Miami, learn about the rules for customizing it.
After all, you don’t own the apartment, so you can’t willy-nilly make any improvements or changes you wish. Any modifications are subject to the landlord’s final say, so figure out the ground rules before signing any lease.
Find the Right Apartment in Miami
Choosing an ideal apartment in Miami doesn’t have to be a tradeoff between the right place and the wrong landlord. Know the correct questions to ask, and don’t let yourself get bullied into a lousy rental agreement.
Looking for more great advice about Miami real estate? Check out our blog—we’ve got you covered.