Interviewing a Landlord

Ask questions before you move in

Rental ads don’t always tell you everything you need to know about the property. It’s a good idea to ask the landlord questions to be sure that you have mutual understanding of what is expected. You can ask them over the phone, or ideally during a tour of the rental property. Here are a few sample questions to get you started.

  • How much is the rent?
  • When is the rent due?
  • What is included in the rental fee (i.e., utilities, parking, cable, Internet and phone)?
  • What style of lease is used (i.e., monthly, yearly, etc.)?
  • Is a deposit required? (Don’t forget to check the Residential Tenancies Act  for the type of deposits landlords are permitted to request)
  • When will deposit and rent receipts be provided?
  • Does the landlord permit subletting?
  • Is the landlord painting the dwelling before you move in?
  • If not, is painting permitted and will compensation be made for any expenses?
  • Will the dwelling be cleaned before moving in?
  • Are there laundry facilities on the premises?
  • Is there a cost to use the laundry facilities?
  • If laundry is not available, where is the nearest laundromat located?
  • Who is responsible for general repairs?
  • How quickly will repairs be completed?
  • Are there quiet hours?
  • Who will maintain the lawn or garden and shovel the snow?
  • Are pets permitted?
  • Is smoking permitted?
  • What are the garbage and recycling schedules and regulations?
  • If a garbage chute is used, are there any rules pertaining to its use?
  • Is there a separate location for recyclables?
  • Are any furnishings included?
  • Is there anything else you should know about the dwelling?

If the landlord has agreed to any of these, make sure it’s included in the lease or in writing (email works too).