9 Questions to Ask your Property Manager Before it’s Too Late

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Moving can be stressful, overwhelming and definitely exhausting. It’s often difficult to remember all the things that you have to do, never mind trying to gather all the information that you need as a new renter or someone who is new to a property.

As a renter, there are some things that are good to know and some things that are absolutely necessary to be aware of. Be proactive and have a list of questions ready to ask your new property manager. It could make all the difference in ensuring minor issues don’t become major ones!

What is included in the rent? After perusing the internet for apartment listings, they can all blur together. Be sure to know what the terms are for the property that you intend to rent so that you don’t find yourself in the unfortunate position of blowing your budget! Was Hydro included? How much was the deposit? Do I have to pay for parking or for an extra spot?

What is the pet policy for this building? Perhaps you’re not a pet owner, so you may think that this isn’t relative to you, however, it could be. Non-pet lovers (yes, they exist!) may not be so keen on moving into a building with four-legged neighbours. People with allergies should also be aware that even though your neighbours’ pets are to be confined to their unit, they will very likely make their way through the common areas. It is also possible that the previous owner had a pet and even though the carpets are cleaned, there may be some remaining pet dander that could potentially set you off.

What is the emergency protocol? All buildings are equipped with fire safety and exit strategies, however, if the emergency does not require an evacuation (e.g. your toilet overflows) make sure you know who you should call and who is responsible for the bill. If the property management company has a 24/7 emergency line (like Vionell Holdings does!), be sure to add the number to your contacts and put a copy of it on your fridge.

Can I alter my unit? When you move out, your unit has to be in the same condition as when you moved in or the cost to revert any changes will come out of your damage deposit. If you’re still not sure what changes you can make, it is best to clarify exactly what is allowed with your property manager before starting!

How and when do I pay rent? Paying your rent on time means that you won’t end up paying late charges. Make sure you know when, how and where you are paying your rent. Some properties allow payment via debit, some accept cash or cheques, and others will have an automatic withdrawal option. Be prepared with the appropriate form of payment and know when it’s due!

What is your subletting policy? In a perfect world, the signing tenant will fulfill their entire lease obligation. But most property management companies understand that things happen, life changes. Be sure to ask what the policy is, if one exists, on terminating a lease early or subletting your apartment.

What happens when my lease expires? Signing a lease protects you as a tenant to secure the initial, agreed-upon rent amount. Once your term is up, you can re-sign a lease or go month-to-month. Be sure to clarify this in advance, not the month that your lease expires. If you were lucky enough to receive a monthly discount, this may end at the end of your term.

What is the policy on maintenance? Ideally, your landlord will have a well-outlined plan for this. If they don’t have a protocol in place, they likely aren’t too keen on keeping up on maintenance so you may want to reconsider renting from them. It might also be wise to ask if your unit is scheduled for any regular maintenance in the near future.

How much notice is required when I’m ready to move out? This is something that should be clarified before you move in. If 30 days’ notice is required, you will need to give the full 30 days or be ready to commit to the unit for another full month

Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has nearly 4,000 units under management in Manitoba. For more information please visit www.vhproperties.ca.

VHP has committed to constructing 128 multifamily residential units in Portage la Prairie that will be ready for occupancy in spring of 2019.