5 Things to Look for While Inspecting an Apartment

October 24, 2016

Apartment Rental Tips: 5 Things to Look for While Inspecting an ApartmentAfter you find the perfect apartment for rent in a great neighborhood and sign a lease, the next step is to conduct a thorough home inspection. Prior to moving in, you and the landlord should walk around the apartment and document any damages that are already in place. Some landlords will bypass this step completely so make sure you mention it when signing the lease because you may unjustly be blamed for the damages.

If this is the case, you could lose a fraction or the entire amount of your security deposit at the end of your lease. Another benefit of an apartment inspection is that your landlord might be able to fix any damages that are discovered more quickly. If your landlord does not agree to do the inspection with you, conduct one on your own anyway so that you’re not held responsible for any future issues.

Make sure you take photos of any damages with detailed notes and email them to yourself and your landlord so he or she can sign off on them. Test every appliance and fixture, including the fridge, freezer, oven, stove, washer/dryer, dishwasher, lights, toilet, shower, heating/AC unit, locks, and windows.

Here are 5 things you should pay attention to while doing an apartment inspection:


  • Floors, Carpet, Tile/Linoleum

Any older apartment is bound to have some scratches and dents in the flooring. Take detailed note of any of these imperfections, such as, “Floors have several scratches near the corner of living room.” For instance, if the apartment has hardwood floors, make notes if they are dull or scratched. If the apartment has any carpeting, make sure you look for stains, tears, or holes.

As for tile/linoleum, see if there are any broken tile pieces or chipped linoleum.

  • Walls

If your lease agreement allows it, you will likely want to decorate your walls at some point. This is why it is important to make note of any damages that were caused by previous tenants, including peeling paint, scuff or scratch marks, and holes or dents. You certainly don’t want to be charged for any damages caused by former tenants so make sure you write detailed notes documenting said damages.

  • Appliances

All your appliances including the stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer (if included) should be in good working order. You should also check to ensure that your gas line doesn’t have any leaks, and that the fridge and freezer are cold enough.

  • Fixtures

People often forget to check all the fixtures are in good working order before moving into a place, but it is definitely a crucial step. After all, you don’t want to be blamed by your landlord for a broken toilet or light fixture because it could be quite expensive to repair. When conducting your walkthrough, make sure you test everything. Turn on the faucets and test both hot and cold to ensure that both water temperatures work and that the knobs work. Open any cabinets and drawers to make sure they work properly and aren’t on the verge of falling apart. Test the lights in the apartment to see if they all work. Test the ceiling fans/AC unit to make sure that they are in working order. Flush the toilet and make sure all the water goes down. Older toilets often run long well after it has been flushed so make note of it if that’s the case.

  • Other

There are a few other items you should check during an inspection, starting with locks. Make sure that the front door has a deadbolt lock. If it doesn’t, ask your landlord to install one. Also, make sure your keys work with the lock. You should also check to see if the windows lock, and can properly open and close. The windows should also seal completely so that you’re not allowing any cold air in. Most apartments for rent will include blinds or curtains. Make sure that they are in working order.