It might seem like a time-consuming exercise in unnecessary things. Why should you have to do a walk-through checklist when the apartment is being rented to you? Shouldn’t it be all set to go when you move in? Well, yes and no. The apartment will have been cleaned once the prior resident has moved out, but there will not have been an assessment for any potential issues. That’s where the checklist comes in. So how does it work? Read on to learn more.
Now that we know what an apartment walk-through checklist is, what do you do with it? Think of it as your safety checklist. It’s much like when you rent a car and you and the rental company look over the car for any existing dents or scrapes. In this case, you and the apartment manager or other representative will walk through the apartment together to look for anything that needs some attention.
Having everything looked over and noted will keep you from being penalized at the end of the rental terms for things you didn’t do. You’ll be able to maximize the amount of your deposit you get back as a result.
• So what should you do? Bring a camera or your cell phone if it has a good camera on it to take pictures of any areas you and the apartment manager identify. Also bring a notepad and pen or pencil along so you can note any areas.
• Things you should look for include rodent damage, rodent droppings, or insect damage.
• If you can, bring a small bag with a phone and phone line and also something you can plug into the outlets. You want to make sure that the lines will work when you get in, and that all of the power plugs are active and working.
• Look around for smoke detectors and test them. Your apartment manager should also be able to provide you with an evacuation plan in the event of a fire. An added bonus – look for sprinklers in the ceiling. This will help suppress a fire in the area where it starts so it doesn’t spread. If your building does have sprinklers, ask the manager when the system was last tested. Basic testing has to be done once a year.
• Check over the windows and doors to make sure they work as they should and that there are no drafts around the frames. Is the door handle or door knob solidly set in the door? It should be. Are the window screens in good shape? You’ll want them to be so bugs don’t invade during the summer months when you have the windows open.
• Does all of the plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom work correctly? Do the drains actually, well, drain? Do the toilets flush properly? Are there any leaks or stains under the sinks? These should all be corrected by the manager before you move in.
If your apartment manager doesn’t do a checklist, you should ask for one. If he or she refuses to do one, you might want to consider finding somewhere else to live. This might not be a good manager to live with. You can find complete checklists on the internet, so don’t be afraid to print one out and use it if your manager doesn’t have one.