Now it seems you have found the apartment you want to rent. The landlord was friendly when you spoke on the phone. The price is even better than you expected. But there must be something behind it, it feels. Or no? It takes a reconnaissance to learn whether everything is okay. This is the way to learn whether Verizon works well there, the pressure assist toilet flushes well, and the floors are not rotting.
Are you ready to do the final checkup? As you take a look at the property, you will need to see what’s wrong with it (if anything). Some of these tips may be obvious to you, but others may somehow be left out, so we decided that anyone needs this reminder as a checklist when seeing the apartment they’re about to rent.
Living in a flat that looks like a cave isn’t much of a pleasure. It may take too much time just to maintain it, so there is less left for work and fun, making the rental not worth it at all. To avoid this situation, you better check the following:
- The floor, the ceiling, and the walls. Pay special attention to where the water is close: the bathroom, the kitchen, and the balcony, where rain protection may fail.
- Carpets and windshields.
- The home appliances. The list of these may vary. Some landlords provide everything: a washing machine, a TV, a refrigerator, kitchen appliances, a fan, an air conditioner – whatever. Others may have only some of them, usually the least movable ones, like conditioners and fridges. Check whether everything you need is present and working. Of course, it only applies to the basic things: no one would keep a recording booth or cannabis grow room in an apartment for rent.
- The paint. On any painted surface, check for cracks and other issues. They may indicate that the property is old or that there may be pests. If any surface needs to be repainted, it should be done at least a week before you move in, so the smell wears out and the quality of the new paint becomes visible.
No flat is an island entirely of itself; every flat is a piece of the continent, a part of the building. Any utility failure diminishes me because I am involved in the utility system. While some of them are quite obvious to check, others require a more thorough examination. So, what to pay attention to?
- Water. Normal pressure and temperature can be checked at your first visit, but even if they seem to function okay, you better keep tracking them for a few days to check whether it’s all stable.
- Faucets. Check whether they are all working well.
- Power. Check all the outlets and the switches; they all should work smoothly. If there is a cracking sound while any of them functions, make a video, even if the landlord is here to witness it. This will be the proof of its condition before you move in. You also need to know where the circuit box is.
- The toilet. You can see whether the flush is strong enough, whether it leaks, and is in good condition.
- The kitchen sink. Spend some water to see how it performs.
- The safety equipment. There may be smoke or gas sensors, and if there aren’t, you better insist on installing them. You may have your own ones and even install them, so they remain after you leave; if so, you may insist that their cost is excluded from the rent. It applies to fire extinguishers and other safety equipment as well.
- Pests. In today’s buildings, roaches, bed bugs, rodents, and ants are the likeliest to appear. They may be much harder to extinguish if they have a nest at your neighbors’ who seem to never care. If you see a trace of their presence (let alone a living specimen), you need to raise the question. Either the landlord will have to handle them, or both of you. At least, you should document their presence as soon as possible to prove it wasn’t your fault.
- Neighbors. Even one unstable person next door can cause a lot of problems. It can be a drunkard who’s good with the aforementioned cockroaches, a musician who plays loudly and doesn’t care, a scandalous family – you name it. The landlord will hardly confess (sometimes they may just be unaware), but if you speak to the neighbors themselves, chances are they’ll tell you.
- Cell phone reception. In the urban environment, black holes are common. If your cellular shows no lines inside, you have to change something – either the carrier or the apartment. Check different areas of the apartment: if only a part of it lacks proper reception, it may still be tolerable.
There are many details to pay attention to as you move in. Here are some things that are indirectly related to the property’s condition.
- If you see anything wrong (damaged floor, leaking pipes, etc.), you better document this. An email with the pictures to your landlord will be the proof because it will be precisely dated, and you always have the copy in your “Sent.”
- The contract deserves a separate scrutinizing, It has little to do with the property itself, so we didn’t focus on it here. But it requires as much attention as possible. It’s a good idea to get a lawyer to check it.
- The conditions of renovation. Nearly always, the consent of the landlord is a must. If you plan any, and the landlord generally agrees, you should talk about the costs of it: this is a part of what you leave when you move further.
- Ask your landlord for the contact information of local plumbers, electricians, pest control services, or other professionals you may need to call.
If you follow these recommendations, you will avoid many problems tenants often face. This instruction isn’t definitive: there may always be some issues we can’t foresee. Well, the best thing you can do with these is to convert them into an experience and consider them the next time. But we hope everything will go well with your new place.