When you're thinking about moving and trying to find a place to live, creating an apartment inspection checklist is probably not on the top of your mind. After all, there are bigger fish to fry like finding the right apartment, assessing rent prices, signing the lease and coordinating the actual move.
However, before you pack your boxes and call the moving company, don't forget to go through an apartment move-in checklist. Instead of waiting for your landlord or management company to prepare the apartment inspection checklist, initiate one on your own and set up a time to go through it with them.
Here's what you should know about the checklist and why it's important. Don't forget to download the apartment inspection checklist form, too.
One of the top reasons tenants and landlords end up in court is because of security deposit disputes. Having an apartment inspection checklist helps ensure there are no big surprises and both landlord and tenant are on the same page when it comes to the condition of the apartment before and after it's occupied. After all, you are entitled to a clean, safe space by law.
If the apartment is in good condition when you rent it and when you move out, it means you should reasonably expect to get your security deposit back (as long as you don't significantly damage your apartment while you're living there).
Going through the apartment with your landlord or property manager before you move in will highlight any damages or things that need repairs so they can address them and get any issues fixed prior to moving in. It will also eliminate the chance the landlord will pin those damages on you when you move out, meaning you'll be off the hook for damages that were there prior to your move-in.
Think of an apartment move-in checklist as “part one" of covering yourself as a renter in your apartment. “Part two" is your move-out checklist. Having both helps solidify the lease terms, your needs as a renter and the condition you're supposed to leave the property in, minimizing issues between you and the landlord. Simply put, an apartment move-in checklist can help safeguard you.
When you do your walkthrough, remember to have your phone on hand to take any photos of things you notice. Perhaps you notice that there are chips in the paint or fixtures that need repair. You'll want to take photos of anything that looks out of place, damaged or broken so you can show the landlord immediately and have those items fixed before the move-in day arrives.
You should also bring a notebook and pen with you to record any important notes or use the notes app on your phone. Having documented proof of existing damages along with photo evidence is a great way to show your future landlord that you're serious about keeping the place in tip-top shape.
Now that you understand why an apartment inspection checklist is crucial and what you need to bring with you, we are going to highlight the key areas to notice as you do your apartment walkthrough. Here are the basics:
In any apartment, safety is the number one priority. So, you'll want to make sure that the basic safety features are in working order.
Doors and windows are part of an apartment, but you need to make sure that there aren't any issues with them. During the apartment inspection, here's what to check for:
Not only is a leak inconvenient, but it can also be an expensive repair. When walking through an apartment, you want to check for leaks and plumbing issues in advance.
Most apartments will come equipped with basic appliances like a fridge, stove and oven. You'll want to review these major appliances before signing the lease.
Electricity is essential for everyday life, so make sure all your outlets are working properly.
In addition to the specific things you've checked out, you'll also want to notice the overall condition of the apartment.
While the inside of the apartment is your domain, you'll also spend time outside so you want to check those conditions out, too.
Download this apartment inspection checklist to use with your property manager.
Your walkthrough is the time to document any concern or problem that exists in the unit using an apartment inspection checklist. Because this process will likely be repeated with your landlord when you move out, it's typically in your best interest to document or photograph the condition of the unit now to make a comparison later.
Don't be afraid to send photos and notes to the landlord or management company. Make sure to keep copies for yourself. Keeping organized records of the apartment condition before you move out may help create a smooth process for when you move out.