Making a move to your new apartment can be exciting. But in that excitement, it can be easy to miss important details that you should have caught on your apartment walkthrough. This can lead to problems with your apartment while you’re living in it or leave you without being able to get your deposit back when you move out because of damage that you did not cause.
If your new apartment manager or leasing agent does not offer a walkthrough of your actual unit before you sign the lease and move in, be sure to ask for one. We’ve put together a list of the important things you should be looking for when you complete your apartment walkthrough:
- Bring a camera with you so you can take pictures of any damages or concerns and document them.
- Bring a checklist of the items you want to make sure you check and do not miss.
- Bring a notepad so you can take notes of any problematic areas that you have documented with your camera.
- Bring a measuring tape so you can make sure your furniture will fit appropriately in your space and through the doors.
- Bring a friend as a second pair of eyes.
- Pay attention to the common areas of the apartment complex. Is there reasonable parking? Is there enough lighting throughout the complex?
- It is a good idea to try to visit the property during both the daytime and evening, as the way the complex appears to be during the workday may be very different from how it is at night.
- Check for proper fire safety equipment such as fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and possibly even an escape ladder if you are not on the first floor.
GENERAL THINGS TO CHECK FOR
- Check for any signs of an insect or rodent infestation. Signs can include droppings, chew marks, and smell.
- Check the function of all electrical outlets and switches. You can check the function of outlets by bringing a cell phone charger along with you.
- Speaking of cell phones, check your cell phone to make sure you get a good signal throughout the apartment complex and your unit.
- Test the air conditioner and heater to make sure there will be no problems with controlling temperature. Listen for any strange sounds, look for any water leaks or damages around the air conditioning unit, and pay attention to any strange smells. Also make sure to check the air filter.
- If you will need home phone or cable jacks you will want to make sure that these are available and located in an accessible and functional area for your life style.
- Check the ceilings for any signs of water damage or structural damage.
MAIN LIVING AREAS – LIVING ROOM, BEDROOMS, DENS, ETC.
- Look for any damages in aesthetic details such as stains on the carpets, scratches, scuffs, or dents on hardwood or tile flooring, chipped paint, peeling wallpaper, and small holes in the wall.
- Check for signs of structural damage by looking for larger holes, cracks, or dents in the walls and baseboards, or uneven flooring.
- Check closets and make sure there is enough storage space and that closet doors open and close appropriately.
- Make sure to measure each room to ensure your furniture will fit comfortably.
- If there is a fireplace, make sure it works properly.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
- Open and close all windows and doors to make sure they can open and close without any issues.
- Check all of the locks on windows and doors to make sure they are secure and functional.
- Check the screens on all windows and patios to make sure the screens are not ripped, torn, or broken out.
- Open and close all blinds to make sure they work properly and do not get stuck or uneven.
APPLIANCES AND PLUMBING
- Check to make sure all appliances are installed properly and working appropriately.
- Check all sinks for leaks by running water through the faucet and checking under the sink for any drips, water discoloration, or odors. You should also let the sinks and bathtubs fill up completely and make sure they hold and drain the water properly.
- Check shower heads to make sure they work properly and that the water stays within the shower.
- Pay attention to the water pressure and make sure the hot water heats up within a reasonable time and remains hot for a reasonable amount of time.
- Flush all toilets.
- If your unit does not have its own washer and dryer, make sure the shared laundry facilities are clean, well lit, well maintained, and accessible to residents only.
- Open and close the oven door, refrigerator doors, and dishwasher doors to make sure they open and close appropriately and to check for appropriate shelving and racks.
- Open and close all the cabinet doors and pantry doors to make sure they open and close properly and have a reasonable amount of storage space.
- Make sure the refrigerator and freezer are both working appropriately and are cold.
- Make sure there are a sufficient number of electrical outlets available for your additional appliances such as microwaves, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, and mixers.
- Check for any problems with the kitchen flooring such as scratches, scuffs, or dents.
- Check countertops for stains, burn marks, scratches, or chips.
- Check for any problems with the bathroom flooring such as scratches, scuffs, dents, or lifting tile.
- Check for any visible signs of water damage.
- Check the bathtub and showers to make sure there is not any missing grout or tiles.
- If the shower has a door on it, then make sure the door opens and closes appropriately.
- Check the bathroom mirrors to make sure there are not any cracks or discolorations.
- Check all cabinet doors, including the medicine cabinet and linen closet.
Once your apartment walkthrough is complete make sure you discuss and review any concerns you found with your landlord and make sure that any necessary repairs are completed before you move in. Your rental agreement should be updated to document any damages or repairs that need to be done and should be signed by both you and your landlord.