It can be exciting to find an apartment that you love, in a complex that’s conveniently located to everything you need and all the amenities you were hoping for, but don’t sign anything just yet. As much as you may be ready to get your move started, you should ensure that the apartment you love is in the exact condition that you were promised by the property manager by conducting an apartment inspection.
An apartment inspection is as important for new renters as it is for landlords checking out a rental after a tenant moves out. It’s not enough to simply look around and give it your stamp of approval; the inspection needs to be performed with a fine-tooth comb. The fact is that someone likely lived there before you, and you deserve to get an apartment in the condition you expect — without any surprises.
An apartment inspection should happen before you sign a lease to help avoid landlord disputes, ensure everything is in top shape before moving in, and prevent your property manager from blaming you for damage you didn’t do. Go through room-by-room and check these areas that need some special attention. Once completed, bring this checklist to your property manager to discuss what needs to be done before you move in.
Within the Entire Apartment
- Walls: Look for cracks, water leak stains, holes from pictures and artwork, and paint quality.
- Electrical outlets: Test out each and every one to make sure they work properly.
- Cable connections: Check the condition and location of cable outlets.
- Smoke Alarms: One in each bedroom, by the front door, and in the kitchen; functioning properly.
- Lighting: Switches and bulbs should work and there are no burn marks near switches or fixtures.
- Thermostat: Check that it matches the temperature throughout the whole apartment.
- Heating/AC: Start the heat and make sure warm air is flowing — do the same with the AC.
- Window Coverings: Blinds and shades should open and close properly and be damage-free.
- Windows/Doors: They open and close smoothly and are free of drafts or moisture leaks.
- Flooring: Inspect carpet and flooring for damage, stains, smells, and proper installation.
- Overall Cleanliness: Look closely for cleanliness and any signs of bug infestation.
In the Bathrooms and Bedrooms
- Sinks: Search for leaks, water pressure, and how long it takes the water to heat up.
- Toilets: Flush, lift up the lid to check for issues, and test the seat for sturdiness or leaks.
- Shower: Turn it on and let it run to check for hot water, look for mold and cracks inside the tub.
- Storage: Check that it’s problem-free and offers enough space to hold bathroom essentials.
- Floors: Make sure the tile is clean, mold-free, unchipped, and slip-resistant.
- Fixtures: Towel bars and toilet paper holders should be attached without missing parts.
- Closet: Check the rods and shelves for sturdiness and that it has enough space for storage.
- Ceiling Fans: Check for wobbles, noises, and that all speeds and any lights work properly.
In the Kitchen
- Oven/Stove: Turn on electric burners, open the oven, check knobs/buttons & internal lights.
- Sink: Turn it on, check hot water and water pressure, look for leaks, and check under the sink.
- Garbage Disposal: Try sending something down the disposal and run for 15 seconds to check.
- Refrigerator: Ensure the doors seal properly and the temperature is correct, check the ice-maker.
- Microwave: Make sure the door opens and closes smoothly and it functions properly.
- Dishwasher: Start a cycle and let it run for a few minutes, then check for clogs or odors.
- Water Heater: Check for water pooling in the tray at the base or any other leaks from the heater.
- Fuse box: All fuses should be on and clearly marked, and trip fuses to check for functionality.
- Laundry: Inspect hoses and exhaust vents for cleanliness and blockages, or leaks at the connection.
- Exterior Doors: All locks need to function properly and doors should close without drafts.
- Walkways: Look to see that they’re well-maintained and without dangerous cracks or damage.
- Parking Lots: They should be well-lit and well-maintained without potholes, cracks, or bare spots.
- Exterior Lighting: All bulbs should properly illuminate parking and outdoor spaces for safety.
- Mailbox: Use your key and make sure it’s working and accessible (and well-lit).
Are you looking to lease a new apartment? We manage a range of properties that fit any and every budget, and we’re ready to build a relationship with you. We operate our communities ourselves and occasionally sell them to interested parties who share our commitment to maintaining them at the highest level possible. Let us show you your new home!