Muriel Vega
trashed apartment

You’re ready to move out of your starter apartment and into one with more amenities, but before you leave, the leasing agent will do an inspection to make sure that everything is in good condition. 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 to be expected, but there are a few things landlords are looking for when they do an inspection. Read on to find out 5 things that will make you fail an inspection.

Dirty floors and carpets

Scratches on your hardwood floors and unsightly stains can be the first 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.

If you have carpet anywhere, walk around and check for stains. If you find some, either rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional. Once the carpets have been cleaned and they’re 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, especially if you have pets.


Walls with holes

Your artwork made your apartment feel like home, but now that it’s all packed up, 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.

Broken appliances

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 any time repairs are needed, you should inform your landlord right away. If you made any service orders, keep track of them to show proof that you alerted management that something was broken or not working.

Water damage in the bathroom

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 in your bathroom inspection, keep the space clean and as dry as possible, and report any issues to your landlord as soon as you spot them.

Signs of inappropriate behavior

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 on it.

Don’t have friends move in with you without the express consent of your landlord. The same goes for subleasing your apartment. That’s a no-no unless your landlord agrees to it. And if you’re lease prohibits smoking inside your apartment, don’t do it. Your landlord will be able to smell it, no matter how many times you deodorized your carpets.

Photo by Lujia Zhang on Unsplash



About The Author

Muriel Vega

Muriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist and editor who writes mostly about technology and its intersection with food and culture. She’s the managing editor of tech news publication Hypepotamus, and has contributed to The Guardian, Atlanta magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, VICE and more. She spends her time eating her way through Buford Highway and exploring Atlanta's arts scene.