10 Questions Renters Should Ask.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM | Posted By: Donje Putnam


Recently on CBS there was an article listing the 10 questions renters should ask before moving in to their apartments.  At Signature Management we encourage you to do your research and ask these questions.  We think you will like the answers at all our communities:

  • How's your cell phone signal? You don't want to be forced to have all phone conversations while hanging out your window or the one tiny corner where you manage to pick up a signal.

We've used our phones easily on every property. 

  • How big are the rooms, really? Bring a measuring tape. You and the leasing agent or landlord may have different opinions on what room size comfortably fits a queen size bed.

Every master bedroom we have can fit a queen size bed (except the 55+ communities, which probably would be more accommodating to a double), but Monticello at Town Center, Monticello at Powhatan, Signature Place and Walker's Chase can even do a King- Size bed in some floor plans.  We like big furniture!  It makes our floor plans the right choice and eliminates a lot of competition.  This Keswick floor plan is 1,320 square feet.

MP Keswick

Monticello at Powhatan Floor Plan.
  • How's the water pressure? Don't forget to ask the follow up, including is the shower pressure weak? How long does it take for the water to get hot in the morning?

You have your own Hot Water Heater at most properties, and it is pretty quick to warm up as it is right there.  In general, we do not receive complaints about pressure or lack of hot water unless something is wrong.  No hot water is considered a maintenance emergency and our team will respond after hours if you need them.

  • Is the rental noisy? Be quiet for a minute and listen for ambient noise, such as weird fans, generators, barking dogs, loud trucks, trains or noisy neighbors.

You may hear your neighbors in your apartment, but we do enforce a quiet time at our communities from 11pm to 8 am.  We also have courtesy officers on most properties to help monitor noise and other disturbances.  As for trains and trucks, some of our locations are super quiet, while others are a bit louder, depending on how close to the action you want to live.  We invite you to visit our locations and hear for yourself.  

  • How is the view? Are there enough windows to provide you with the natural light you want? If the curtains are closed, pull them open to check out the view. You might not want your living room overlooking your neighbor's bathroom.

We have great views, especially at Monticello at Powhatan, Monticello at Town Center and Signature Place Apartments.

  • Is the air fresh? If you're looking at a high rise or a garden unit, sometimes the windows can't open or open just a bit. Make sure you have enough fresh air.

All of our apartments have windows that open!  

  • How fast is that elevator? If there's an elevator, check the capacity. Is it single shaft or super slow? Are there separate elevators for garbage or taking your pet out?

Only our 55+ communities  have elevators, and they are only three floors.  It's pretty quick and efficient.  Most of our communities are Garden-style apartments with one or two floors.  Monticello at Powhatan, Walker's Chase and Archer's Green have convenient first floor entrances.

  • What are the amenities? Get the details on amenity offered as part of the rent. For example, some buildings come with public areas or workout facilities. Check the hours before you make the gym a deciding factor in your lease.

At locations where there is a gym, the hours are 24-7.  Where there are pools, they are open from 11-8 daily during the summer, except in inclement weather.  Our offices are open Monday-Friday with some locations offering weekend hours for your convenience.

  • Who handles deliveries to the property? If there's no doorman or superintendent, what will happen to all those UPS or FedEx deliveries that come while you're at work?

We accept packages as part of our concierge service at all locations, and at our Hampton, Va apartments, Monticello at Town Center, we will deliver them to you in your car as you come home from work (providing we can lift them), just call us!

  • What is the heating situation? Because people often rent during the summer, they neglect to ask about the heat, Lin said. Find out if the heating is individual or shared, such as an uncontrolled radiator, and find out the costs.

You control your heat and cooling situation.  You do not share with anyone else.  Your bills will be determined by your usage.  We maintain our communities, and so the HVAC systems are checked regularly and also filter changes are done three times a year.  No heat or air is also a maintenance emergency and we have 24 hour service on these items.

We are proud of our answers and our communities and we invite you to visit!


Filed Under: Apartment Living


About the Author

Donje Putnam has over 15 years experience in the multi-family housing industry and has worked at many different types of apartment communities, from tax credit to high end and from 88 units to 400.  Her favorite thing about being in "the industry" is that you learn a little bit about everything!  She lives in Newport News, VA with her husband, two kids, a very calm dog, a very hyper dog and a very aloof cat. 


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