First Apartment Checklist
created on Dec 27, 2011
Make sure the door shuts securely and that all the locks work. You should have a deadbolt lock on each entrance to the apartment.
Each window should also fit securely and have it's own lock as well.
There should be a smoke detector on each level of the apartment and they all must be in good working order.
If you're moving into a multi-story building make sure there are fire extinguishers in the halls.
Most automobile insurance companies also offer renter's insurance that can be added to your policy for a very low fee.
To save time and make sure you're getting the apartment you really want you should contact an apartment rental service to find quality rentals available in your area.
What condition is the neighborhood in? Will you feel safe living there?
Is the apartment close to work or school, shopping, your family and friends? If you don't have a car, is public transportation available nearby?
Does the apartment have a refrigerator and stove? Is there a microwave? Or will you have to provide your own appliances?
Turn on the water at the kitchen sink and check for leaks under the sink. Also make sure the garbage disposal works.
Check the cupboards and around baseboards and appliances for signs of rodents or insects.
Turn on the water in the shower or tub to check the pressure and make sure the drain is working properly.
Flush the toilet to make sure it works. Previous tenants have been known to intentionally clog up toilets if they're evicted and it's not noticeable until it's used.
Look at your budget and make sure you can afford the monthly rent plus the security deposit. You're probably going to have to sign a lease and if you don't make your rent payment every month, even if you move out in the middle of the lease, you may still be legally required to continue paying the rent.
Make sure that you can live in that apartment for the length of the lease. Not just whether you can afford it or not. But will you feel comfortable living there until the lease expires?
Ask for an apartment checklist so that you can list any damages you see to the apartment when you rent it. That way you won't be held liable for those already existing damages when you move out.
Check the entire apartment for signs of rodents and insects. Ants or an occasional mouse are one thing but if you have a whole family of rats in the closet or a nest of cockroaches under the tub, that's a whole different story.
Make sure you know who is responsible for paying all utility bills and make sure they work before you move in.
And you'll also want to know how far away you're going to have to park it.
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