So you're ready to move out of your current apartment and into one with more amenities? But before you move, the landlord or leasing agent will do an apartment inspection to ensure everything is in good shape. Or maybe it's a routine check-in they perform annually to make sure you're a model tenant.
Either way, it's a good idea to keep your apartment in tip-top shape. That full security deposit can buy your next couch. Normal wear and tear is typical, but there are a few things landlords look for when they do an inspection.
An apartment inspection is when the landlord does a routine check-up on the unit. They will make sure everything is in its best shape and that you're not breaking your leasing contract.
How often your apartment inspections happen depends on your specific lease. Some landlords like to do one once a year and some like to check in every six months. Sometimes, an apartment inspection happens only when you move in and out.
Your landlord should also give you notice before making an apartment inspection. The amount of time required for notice varies from state to state, but it's typically anywhere in the 24 to 48-hour range. Some landlords will also perform an inspection whether or not you are home, so it's best to check your contract to gather all this information.
If you're wondering how to pass an apartment inspection you're in luck. Below are the 10 most common reasons you could fail your inspection.
Scratches on your hardwood floors and unsightly stains may strike against you in an apartment inspection. While you're moving, make sure to lift everything off the ground to prevent any last-minute scratches. Then, grab the mop and make sure your hardwood floors are clean and free of scratches.
It's a good idea to routinely go around and check your floors for stains. This way, if you get a random apartment inspection you won't have to rush a deep carpet clean. While checking, if you happen to come across a stain either rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional to clean the carpets.
Once the carpet is clean and dry, vacuum with a deodorizer powder to give it an extra fresh smell.
A good, deep clean will put you on your landlord's good side. Also, it could save you money in the long run.
While we all love having furry friends, your landlord will notice you have pets when doing an apartment inspection, especially if they're against your lease agreement.
Make sure before you move in to check your agreement and see that it allows pets. If not, sneaking them in could work for a while, however, it could cost you in the long run.
If your apartment does allow pets, make sure to do a deep clean before your inspection. Check for places around the apartment your furry companion may have left their special mark on. If they've scratched the walls or had an accident on the carpet, take the time to fix it up.
Your artwork made your apartment feel like home, but now you're all packed. The nail holes left behind are not pleasing to the eye — or the leasing agent.
Do a full walk-through of the apartment and place a piece of painter's tape next to each hole so you don't miss any when patching them. Don't forget to check the baseboards too, just in case.
Pick up some spackling paste and sandpaper at your local hardware store to fix up all the holes. Simply place a small amount of the paste in each hole, smooth it out with a putty knife and sand it smooth when it's dry.
While doing a final check of the apartment make sure to check any safety alarms, plus your vents and light switches. While it is not your job to fix them, that's on the building, you should report it as soon as they break. This way fixes for you or the new tenant can happen in a timely manner.
As far as the HVAC goes, make sure to clean the filters or dust or other debris.
The leasing agent may have a good idea of the working order of the apartment's appliances after your move-in apartment walkthrough, so they may look for specific things during their inspection.
Keep your fridge, stove and other major appliances clean and anytime you need — inform your landlord right away. If you made any service orders, keep track of them to show proof that you alerted management.
If you're renting a furnished apartment, it's important to keep that furniture in its best shape.
When you move in, take some time to observe the condition that the furniture is in so that you can maintain it while living there. If there is some wear and tear on it, do your best to get it back to its original shape.
Think about things such as cleaning the cushions, giving the frames a new coat of paint or wiping it down.
Any time you have a small space with a lot of water, you run into the possibility of mold. Not only is it unsightly, but it could be dangerous, too. And mold is not the only thing that could result from too much water. Damage could spread on the floor and up the walls, creating structural issues.
There are a variety of reasons excess moisture can cause issues, including not cleaning the bathroom properly, not repairing cracks in the tile or seals and not using the exhaust fan.
To avoid serious issues keep the space clean and as dry as possible, check areas with water pipes often, put a water alarm under sinks and report any issues to your landlord when you spot them.
Speaking of mold, make sure before your inspection to deep clean the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most used areas in an apartment, so it regularly needs cleaning.
Whether you're moving out or doing a clean for your routine inspection make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of your bathroom. Check for things such as mold, mildew or grime build up in your toilet and shower and bath.
Take the time to do the floors too. A clean bathroom leads to a happy landlord.
When you signed your lease, your landlord expected you to follow the terms of it to a T. So, if you're engaging in behavior that goes against those terms, you can bet your landlord will call you out on it.
Don't have friends move in with you without the consent of your landlord. The same goes for subletting your apartment. That's a no-no unless your landlord agrees to it.
If your lease prohibits smoking inside your apartment, don't do it. Your landlord will be able to smell it, no matter how many times you deodorize your carpets. Take the time before moving to really read the contract and make sure you'll be able to follow all their rules. This is one of the biggest reasons you could fail an apartment inspection.
One of the last things you should look at before your apartment inspection is your windows. Go around and check that all your window cranks work. Also, check to see that there are no tears in your window screens or cracks in your windows.
Let's say you end up failing your inspection, then what happens? There are a couple of things that could happen. Failing an inspection could make it so that the landlord doesn't give you your deposit back.
Another thing that could happen if you fail is not getting a letter of recommendation for future landlords from your current landlord.
Apartment inspections are annoying but they are inevitable. There are things you can do to make them go smoother. By doing these 10 things you'll be less likely to fail your inspection and keep your landlord happy.