Once you’ve finally found the apartment you want, you most likely just want to finish the process once and for all: move in the furniture, set up the kitchen, and have a good night’s sleep. But before all of that, and before you even take the keys, schedule a walk through of the apartment with a landlord or rental agent. Be ready to note any problems with the apartment’s aesthetics and function. If you do this ahead of time you can prevent incurring fees for damage you didn’t cause in the first place. Come prepared with a notepad, a camera for photos and videos, and this list of what to check for:
- Signs of roaches, mice, or rats? Write it down so they can be removed by the property owners prior or shortly after move in.
- Bring a cell phone charger to check that all plugs are working.
- Open and close all doors and windows; check all window screens.
- Check pipes underneath sinks for leaks as the water runs.
- Flush all toilets and open the tank to check the chain.
- Turn on the faucets, and check for leaks in the pipes underneath. Pull the sink drain plugs to see if the water pools.
- Turn on the shower head to check that the nozzle is spraying in the right direction.
- Test the hot water- it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to heat.
- Check mirrors for cracks and discolorations.
- Check carpeting for odors and cleanliness
- Look for structural damage– signs of this include cracks in the wall or floorboards.
- If there are air conditioners or heaters, turn them on and off
- Check for installed fire and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Find out where the fire extinguisher is located.
- Learn the fire escape route.
- Check that all locks and doorknobs are secure.
- Check functionality of all appliances: stove burners that light, dishwasher, sinks.
- Examine the floor and countertop surfaces for scuffs, chips and scratches.
- Check the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer.
Take pictures of the state of everything, so you have proof of which damages, if any, were already there prior to your move in. You can also consider hiring a videographer to record and save a video of the apartment.
Once you’ve done the walk through, move in and enjoy your new home! Be sure to line up your renter’s insurance beforehand: questions? Call us at 714-838-1911.