Top 5 questions to ask before renting in SF
If you are considering renting an apartment in San Francisco, you’ve probably already got a lot on your mind. The congested rental market, high prices and general frenzy around renting in the city can be overwhelming for even the experienced apartment renter.
So as you search for your new apartment, you’ll want to be prepared to get all the right information from any potential landlord, leasing agent and property manager you may meet. Granted, they may be so besieged by potential tenants and their applications that they won’t have time to talk to you. But if you are able to get their attention, here’s what you should ask about:
- How long is the lease? Due to the frenzied market conditions, you’ll want to get the longest lease you can, with potential for renewals, if you find an apartment that is both affordable and a good fit for you.
- Are there plans to improve the building? If you notice that the apartment building is in need of paint or upgrades, you may want to ask about pending improvements – not only can they disrupt your quality of life temporarily, but major projects can lead to large rent increases, even in rent controlled properties.
- How old is this building? Buildings built after 1979 do not fall under the city’s Rent Control Ordinance, so you will probably be paying significantly higher rents and will not be protected by the rent control ordinance’s protections.
- Can I have a pet? If you have or plan to get a furry friend while living in your new apartment, better to be safe than sorry – ask up front. Many San Francisco landlords are amenable to tenants having animals.
- Is there an on site super? If you are considering an apartment in an older building, this is an important question. There’s nothing worse than having a plumbing or utility problem on the weekend and having to call an emergency service to address it. The online super will give you great peace of mind