Inspect the Property


  • Be polite, honest and accommodating when interact with potential landlords/apartment managers; bring up your special needs early, if you have any, such as smoking and pet, to save time for both parties
  • Bring a copy of credit score report when inspecting the property
  • Bring your check for application fee, deposit and rent, in case you decide to take the place on the spot. If you pay by cash, don’t forget to ask for receipt
  • Landlord may ask for a holding deposit if you want to secure the place until you pay the first month’s rent and security deposit. Confirm with the landlord if the holding deposit will be counted towards first month’s rent
  • Ask your potential roommate(s) lifestyle questions, if anyone else is living in the place
  • Inform your landlord if any part of the property is in poor condition

Things to consider when inspecting a property:

Is the property clean and in good working order?

  • Watch for any signs of cracks, leaks, insects, rodents, rust, mildew, and water damage
  • Check the cleanliness of the hallways, windows, furnishings, walls, ceiling, cabinets, carpet or floors
  • Be sure that all electrical appliances and heating and cooling systems are in good condition and functioning properly
  • Make sure hot water is available
  • Note if there is smoke detector in the property

Is the property secured?

Check for safety features, such as:

  • An entry door with deadbolt and hinges on the inside
  • A well-lit stairways, sidewalks, and parking areas
  • Curtains and shades provided
  • Fire exits and security system

Note: It's a good idea to walk or drive around the neighborhood during the day and again in the evening, and make sure you feel comfortable living there.

Rental Checklist:

When viewing a property, expect to check for problems or damage. Completion of a rental condition checklist form may serve as proof of the condition of the property at the time of rental, in case there is a dispute about damage. Have your landlord sign the rental condition checklist when you have it filled out, and make copies both for your landlord and yourself.