Moving into a new apartment is exciting. Even if it is a mere block away from your old place, it signals the start of a new and fresh chapter in your life. But don’t get carried away by the excitement. Signing a lease is a big decision that will affect you for the next 12 months or so.
To make sure that you are making the right decision, look through potential apartments with a fine-tooth comb. Use this apartment inspection guide to make sure you choose the right property.
Heating and cooling
Windows and doors
An apartment’s existing HVAC system can have a huge impact on your quality of life. There are very few things as comforting as knowing that you have a reliable AC to cool you on hot summer days and heating when the first frost arrives.
To check the HVAC system, turn on the central air, then walk past every vent to ensure that they are all in working order. If your new place has a radiator, ask the landlord to turn it on.
Faulty wiring and malfunctioning outlets aren’t just inconvenient, they can be potential fire hazards as well.
As you tour the apartment, flick all the light switches on and take note of all the lighting fixtures that need replacing. Use a phone charger to check if the outlets are working. If you’re touring the apartment virtually, have the agent or property manager do these things for you.
If issues are found, your landlord or property manager will be more than willing to take care of electrical repairs before you move in.
Check the apartment walls for cracks, chips, stains, peeling paint or wallpaper, and mold. Cracks can indicate structural problems, while the others imply poor maintenance.
If you come across any of these imperfections during the inspection, take pictures. Inform the landlord or property manager about the pre-existing issues you’ve found and show documentation. Doing so will help you settle related disputes and get your security deposit when it is time to move out.
Floors get a lot of beating, so be thorough. Check all surfaces, including the areas behind furniture. If the apartment is carpeted, tug on the fabric to make sure that it is fastened properly.
Watch out for flooring nails on the surface as this might cause accidents in the future. Moreover, do not forget to take note of the bathroom and kitchen flooring. Take pictures of tile cracks and chips before you sign the lease.
You will never be able to feel utmost comfort if you don’t feel safe in your new apartment. As such, check the locks of the windows and doors of your property. Open and close them a few times to make sure they are in working order. Likewise, push and pull a closed door or window to see if the lock dislodges with enough force.
Do not sign a lease if you cannot lock any windows or doors. If you are 100% keen on a certain apartment and the property manager promises to replace all the locks, make sure to double-check these features during the follow-up walkthrough. You can never be too safe.
Most apartments already come semi-furnished with appliances. They help boost an apartment’s rental price and overall desirability. That’s because a lot of would-be tenants want move-in ready homes.
Start by getting a list of included appliances from the landlord or property manager. This will serve as your guide during the apartment tour. If you find an extra or missing item, make inquiries.
Check all of the kitchen appliances thoroughly. Take note if the oven uses gas or electricity. Turn the stove on and see if it’s functioning by splashing a small droplet of water on the surface. If it sizzles, the stove is working fine. If the apartment has a gas range, check for gas leaks.
If the apartment comes with a washer and a dryer, do not forget to check all hoses for leaks. You can also run a load to check the water pressure.
Ready to go apartment-hunting?
You’ll make a better and informed decision when you know everything there is to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through the apartment inspection process alone.
Sundance Property Management can be your extra set of eyes as you go apartment-hunting, whether you’re in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina. Call 608.513.3933 or email info(at)sdpmi(dotted)com today.