Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


Questions to Ask Before Signing

Don't feel rushed into signing! Before you sign your lease, make sure you have reviewed all of the important terms and that you understand everything that you're agreeing to. Discuss any questions with your landlord and include all changes in writing on the lease agreement.

Lease Checklist
Questions to Ask Before Signing

It is always important to ask the right questions before signing the lease. You cannot ask too many questions! If you are unsure about anything, make sure to have the questions listed below answered before signing. This is not an exhaustive list, and you should always ask any further questions you may have.

  • When is the earliest you can move in?
  • Is the lease month-to-month or a long-term rental agreement?
  • Is there a written lease?
  • How much is the security deposit? Is it refundable?
  • When is the rent due?
  • What are your obligations if you have to break the lease?
  • Does the landlord require references?
  • Are the landlord/tenant responsibilities clearly outlined in the lease?
  • For which utilities are you responsible?
  • What are the average utility bills?
  • If you leave for the summer, can you sublet the room or apartment?
  • Are there any code-related issues with the property?
  • What are your responsibilities for mowing and maintaining the yard?
  • Can you have a pet?
  • Can you put up posters, hang pictures, etc.?
  • Does the landlord have any regulations regarding alcohol, smoking, etc.?
  • What are the rules on gatherings/parties?
  • Where can you park your car?
  • If you’re renting a room, will you have access to a kitchen?
  • Is there access to laundry?
  • If not, is there a Laundromat close by?
  • Who has keys to the property?
  • Have there been any problems with previous tenants?
  • What is the surrounding neighborhood like?
  • Do other students live in the area?