When checking out a new apartment, it is important to do your due diligence in making sure that every aspect is ready for you. The best way to prepare before visiting a potential apartment is to create a checklist that you can bring to keep track of any and all features and requirements. You’re in luck! You don’t need to spend your valuable time making a checklist, we made one for you:

The Electrical

One of the most important things to check before settling on an apartment is the functionality of the electricity and the inclusion of appliances and fixtures. When focusing on electrical, test the apartment’s outlets and switches for functionality as well as ensuring that there are enough. Often times, older apartments may be lacking in outlets or may offer them in inconvenient locations. Although it is unlikely that your landlord will run new electrical and install more outlets, figuring out the situation prior to moving in will give you an opportunity to plan ahead. Additionally, ensure that necessary appliances (including fridge, stove, etc.) are included in the apartment and are in good working order.

The Water

No one wants to live in an apartment with low water pressure or a leaky faucet. During your walkthrough, make sure to always check the water pressure from multiple sources in the apartment – this includes verifying that the toilets flush as they’re supposed to. Drains should also be clear of any clogs. Additionally, look around all water sources to ensure that nothing shows evidence of drips or leaks – including checking the tub and sinks for missing grout or tiles. If you identify issues early, contact the building management company or landlord to have them rectified.

The Temperature

Depending on the time of year that you are doing your apartment walkthrough, it may not seem necessary to check the heating and cooling systems. That said, a change in season and in temperature will make you wish that you had taken the necessary precautions when initially visiting the apartment. During your visit, double check that it goes on and off without a hitch. If a cooling system is not already in place, check and see if there is a suitable area to install a window air conditioner. Save yourself from surprise heating costs and clarify what is included in the rent and what will require additional budgeting.

The Details

When visiting a new apartment, you’ll want to take note if anything is broken or damaged. Record a note and photographs documenting any damage such as cracked mirrors, wall holes, and stains or scratches on the floors. In doing so, you will be protected if questions arise regarding the state of the apartment. This tedious process will be well worth it when you can prove that you are not liable for existing damages and can have your deposit returned in full. Once you’ve surveyed the area for damages, make sure to consider the small details such as making sure that all knobs and handles are accounted for, all closets have rods, and there is no sign of insect or rodent life.

The Safety

Arguably the most important factors to consider when choosing a new apartment are the safety and security features present in the home. During your walkthrough, make sure that working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are all in place. Check with the landlord to determine the fire escapes in the hallways, laundry room, bedrooms and living areas. You can also discuss the reputation of the neighborhood in terms of safety and any other precautionary safety features throughout the building.

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