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Rental Questions

Questions to ask BEFORE Signing a Rental Agreement

This is a list of the questions you should ask a prospective landlord about fire safety. Print it out, put it on a clipboard so they’ll know you mean business, and bring it with you when checking out apartments. And get satisfactory answers before you sign anything.

  1. Are smoke alarms installed?  Working?
  2. How old are the smoke alarms?
  3. How often are the smoke alarms checked and batteries changed?
  4. Are there at least two ways to exit your living space and your building?
  5. Do the upper floors have a fire escape or ladder available for each bedroom?  (If there are multiple floors.)
  6. Are the living unit doors rated for fire?
  7. Are fire extinguishers available?  Work?
  8. Were the fire extinguishers inspected within the last year?
  9. Is a sprinkler system installed?
  10. Is the electrical wiring adeqaute?
  11. Is the building regularly inspected by the local fire department?
  12. What is the owner's policy and method for correcting safety problems in the building?
  13. has there ever been a fire in this building?  If so, identify the cause.
  14. Does the residence have a gas or electric stove/oven?
  15. Do you know how to use the appliance(s) correctly?
  16. Where is the nearest fire hydrant on the street?
  17. Is the owner a member in good standing in a landlord/tenant association or other housing association?
  18. Who is responsible for keeping it cleared in the winter season?
  19. has the city and/or township received any safety complaints regarding this building?