Going on an apartment tour can give you a sneak peak into what your life could look like living in that space.
Knowing what questions to ask when looking for apartment house rentals and knowing what to look out for during apartment walkthroughs are some of the most important aspects of the apartment search process and can make or break finding a great new home.
- Are the door locks secure? What kind of deadbolt is used on the door?
- Are the windows secured? Check the locks and take a look outside for easy access points if unit is on a lower floor.
- Take a good look at smoke detectors, sprinklers and carbon-monoxide detectors – do they look in good working condition? When was the latest inspection on these safety devices? Does the kitchen include a fire extinguisher or fire blanket?
- Is there an outlet(s) for Internet connection? Where is the connection for cable hookup, and will the position work for your living room setup?
- Make a note of essential appliances such as the refrigerator, stove/oven and microwave. Do they look clean and in good working condition?
- Check the water pressure in the kitchen and bathroom. Include faucets, toilets, and showerheads in your inspection. How long does it take for hot water to start flowing?
- Does the toilet flush properly? How is the flow and is it water efficient?
- Are the walls clean and in good condition? Keep a close eye out for stains or watermarks for evidence of leaks.
- Where is the circuit breaker located? Is it easily accessible in case of outages?
- Are there laundry facilities on-site? If so, where, and how easy is it to access from the specific unit? How do you pay for washer and dryer usage (i.e. cash, vending card)?
- What is the process for trash disposal and removal? Are there recycling facilities on-site?
- Where do packages get delivered? Is there a secure location for storage and pickup?
- What is the process for emergency maintenance requests? Is there someone available during office hours? What about after hours emergencies?
- Where do I park? How many spots are available per unit? How much do extra permits cost? Can I get guest parking passes?
- Will your apartment fit your storage needs? Is there space for storing other items such as bikes? Can I purchase additional storage space for my belongings? What does it cost?
- Note all public entrances. Are they secure?
- What is the policy for renting with pets? What types and breeds of pets are permitted? Is there an additional fee? Are there green spaces nearby for exercising my pet?
- Are utilities included? How much do they generally cost?
- Your leasing agent should know the answer and in many places you can call the utility providers to get estimates from them directly.
- Is there a fee if you have to break your lease?
- Is your rent prorated on half months?
- Under what circumstance can a landlord terminate your lease?
- Most importantly, get everything in writing. If your leasing agent promises you anything that is not within the lease, have them write it down for future reference (and ideally in an email so it’s clearly dated). Also take lots of photos upon your initial move in and email them to your landlord, highlighting any issues so there are no discrepancies when you move out.
- Be aware of the noise level in the unit.
- If the community is gated, be sure the gates are working.
An Apartment Checklist should help you finalize that lease agreement so you can be rest assured that your new apartment is perfect.