One thing there is plenty of? Checklists. Unfortunately, many lists have the property owner or manager in mind. Renters need a walkthrough checklist, too, along with an understanding of what normal wear and tear looks like, and what needs to be repaired (and cleaned!) before you move in.
Your walkthrough checklist
Before you sign on the line committing to a rental property, employ the following checklist to ensure everything is in working order. As you work through the list, identify and document all concerns.
- Faucets. Turn on every water source. Water should be clear with good pressure. There should be no banging pipes or leaks.
- Floors, walls, and ceilings. Look for evidence of damage, including water damage, mold, stains, or cracking.
- Windows. All windows should open and close. Proper opening and closing windows prevent damage and ensure your safety. Windows should also have undamaged screens.
- Closets, doors, and cabinets. Check that all open and close properly and double-check for signs of pests.
- Outlets. Bring a small electric device, such as a phone charger, to test if all outlets are in working order.
- Appliances. All appliances should work correctly and be clean to your standards.
- External doors. All doors leading to outdoor spaces should close, lock and seal correctly.
- Locks and security gates. Your property manager should ensure all work and that you understand access procedures.
- Other security features. Ensure features such as lighting in outdoor spaces and communal hallways meet your comfort level.
- Access. Understand how to access any amenities, for example, parking, laundry facilities, or fitness areas.
This list is a starting point for your walkthrough. Be as thorough as possible. When your walkthrough checklist is complete, address any issues with your property manager.
Keep a personal copy of your observations. Provide another copy of your document to be kept in your records and with the property management office. If your concerns aren’t resolved, walk away and find an apartment that fits your needs and standards. If everything is to your standards, it’s time to sign a lease, get those keys, and move into your new home!
Need more help creating inspection lists?
If you are a property manager looking for more rental assistance, let our property management professionals help. Contact Class A Management at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-295-5959.