Information for Tenants

Questions to ask a landlord when
renting a room, an apartment or house

  • How much is the rent? When is the earliest move-in date?
  • Are utilities included? If not, how much per month?
  • What is the length of the lease? Is it month-to-month, 6 months, school year?
  • Do you allow co-signers? Is there an application fee?
  • If I have no credit in the United States, what can be done?
  • Is there a waitlist? How much is the deposit? Is it refundable?
  • How many parking spots? Any visitor parking?
  • Do you allow subletting? Do you allow pets?
  • How are maintenance issues handled especially in case of emergency?
  • How far is it from campus? Is there a bus stop nearby?
  • When can I visit the apartment/ house? Is it furnished?

Tenant vs. landlord

A tenant is somebody who rents an apartment or a house
A landlord is somebody who owns an apartment or a house


It is the other charges that are not necessarily included in the rent fee.
Example: Water, electricity, phone, internet, trash, etc…


It is the first document that you will have to fill up. You will have to write your personal, professional, and financial information on it. Some landlords require the tenant to pay an application fee as it often guarantees a hold on the room or apartment.

Leasing contract

It is a legal document that both landlord and tenant sign to officially agree on the obligations of both parties during the stated length of stay.

Maintenance person

It usually is a person who comes to fix technical problems such as plumbing issues occurring in the apartment or house.

Credit in the United States

Once you have an American social security number, it means that you have credit. Your credit score will determine your ability to apply for cellular phone, credit cards, loans, etc…

If you don’t have credit in the U.S., landlords or companies will require a deposit instead.


When a room or an apartment is furnished, it implies that there are enough furniture and/or appliances for you to live without purchasing any extra ones.