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A Walkthrough Checklist for Renters

Image of a checklist on a desk, in the blog A Walkthrough Checklist for Renters.

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 or call 817-295-5959. 

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10 Ways to Soundproof Your Apartment

10 Ways to Soundproof Your Apartment

Living in an apartment has many advantages, but noise can be a common challenge. Whether it’s traffic sounds, noisy neighbors, or even the hum of appliances, unwanted noise can disrupt your peace. The good news is there are several effective ways to soundproof your apartment to create a more peaceful living environment. Here are ten practical steps you can take to achieve a quieter space. 

Techniques to soundproof your space

  1. Identify noise sources. The first step to soundproofing your apartment is to identify the noise source. Walk around your space and listen carefully to determine where sounds are coming from. 
  2. Use weatherstripping and door sweeps. A primary area where sound can enter or escape is through gaps around doors and windows. In addition to more efficient climate control, the bonus of applying weatherstripping to seal gaps prevents sound travel. Install door sweeps at the bottom of doors to reduce noise. 
  3. Install window treatments. Double-pane windows are excellent for soundproofing. If you don’t have them or want more noise protection, thick curtains or window inserts dampen outside noise. 
  4. Consider acoustic panels and wall coverings. These specialized materials absorb sound waves and minimize echo, making your apartment quieter. They come in various styles, allowing you to choose an option that fits your style. 
  5. Strategically place furniture. How you arrange your furniture can help create barriers to sound. Place bookshelves, sofas, or other large furniture against shared walls to absorb and block noise from neighbors.
  6. Use rugs on tile or wood flooring. Adding carpets can help dampen sound and reduce echoing. Thick materials are ideal for absorbing impact noise, especially in areas with high foot traffic. 
  7. Consider adding soundproofing materials. Mass-loaded vinyl, acoustic foam, or soundproofing curtains can reinforce your apartment’s existing structures. These materials can be applied to walls, ceilings, and floors. Make sure to check with your property manager before using any materials that will alter structures.
  8. Purchase a white noise machine or soundscape. If external noise persists despite soundproofing efforts, you can introduce white noise or soundscape machines to mask unwanted sounds. These can be especially useful at night. 
  9. Communicate with your neighbors. If noise issues persist, it may be worth talking to your neighbors. Friendly communication can go a long way in resolving noise concerns.
  10. Buy some earplugs. A cheap option for a quick fix is a simple pair of earplugs. You may also consider noise-canceling headphones. 

Living in a noisy apartment can be frustrating, but with the right strategies, you can significantly reduce unwanted sounds and create a more tranquil living space. Creating a soundproof environment may take some time and experimentation, so don’t hesitate to try different methods until you find what works for you. You can also communicate with your property manager to discuss any property rules concerning noise. 

Work with your property manager

Noise complaints are common in multifamily properties. Management and tenants can work together to take the steps to create and maintain a peaceful living environment. Class A Management is here to help create, implement, and monitor management rules and guidelines for your properties, including rules associated with noise

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Hand Over the Keys and the Wi-Fi Access

Hand Over the Keys and the Wi-Fi Access

A swimming pool isn’t necessarily the top-billing amenity your renters are seeking, but wi-fi access may be. While they may expect outdoor gathering spaces, today’s renters also expect that you’ll provide their internet service as part of the rent. The good news is that they’re also willing to pay more for it.

Expanded wi-fi coverage expected

Just a few years ago, prospective tenants would have been satisfied with a few wi-fi access points in shared areas like the pool and clubhouse. They expected to have to find their own in-home connectivity solution.

An overwhelming majority now expect community-wide wireless internet. They also expect to be able to stream unlimited video, as many residents opt out of traditional TV and head instead to Netflix, Disney Plus, and other online entertainment sources. The move toward remote work has only made wi-fi more important, as more people work from home and need reliable high-speed internet.

While some tenants may opt out of included wi-fi and get their own service, the ability to tap into community internet service is still a value add for tenants. Don’t underestimate the power of high-tech upgrades to help convert prospective tenants and justify higher rents for your property.

Smart homes trending

Renters want the convenience that new technology offers, and that includes security systems and other environmental controls they can operate from a smartphone. If they forget to lock the front door, they want to be able to open a smartphone app and lock the door remotely. 

They want to see how much energy they’re using, and they want to be able to monitor what’s going on at home even while they’re away. All this connectivity is going to require forward-thinking property owners to set up two wireless access points with huge bandwidth—one for smart house programming, and one for internet access—and it’s going to have to be reliable.

Community wi-fi options are becoming more readily available to meet this demand. SmartRent Community Wi-Fi is one forward-thinking solution that offers easy setup for new tenants. Coupled with connection speeds of up to 1 GB, it’s an attractive “amenity” that developers say is helping properties improve and maintain occupancy rates.

Class A Management helps with property updates

Part of what we offer at Class A Management is on-site management and more than four decades of experience providing the amenities and technology that residents expect from the best apartment communities. Contact Class A Management to take care of your residents, as well as their internet needs. Call us today at 817-295-5959 or e-mail,

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Renters Beware: Due diligence is necessary

Due diligence is important for tenants, too. This image depicts a desk full of papers indicating research is underway.

Renters expect that their future landlords will perform due diligence by checking their references before renting them a home. But it shouldn’t be a one-way street. When they’re entering into a legal contract with a landlord, tenants also have a responsibility to check out the property owner or manager.

Here’s a due diligence checklist of things you might want to research before you sign a lease:

  • Interview current renters and neighbors of the rental property. Ask them: How do they like living there? Is the property well-kept? Are repairs made quickly? Are there any other issues?
  • Check with local law enforcement to see if the address and neighborhood have had recent law enforcement involvement.
  • Check local courthouse records for a notice of default on the landlord or the property address. You won’t want to sign a lease that carries the potential of bank foreclosure.
  • Call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, and ask about your landlord by name and company name.
  • See how apartments stack up against the competition by researching and reading reviews.
  • Google the property owner, property manager, property name and company name. You might be surprised just how easy it is to find poor reviews, legal proceedings, news stories, and other information you’ll need to make an informed decision before signing a new lease.

Interviewing a landlord when you first tour a property only provides you with part of the big picture. Take these few extra steps to conduct a thorough vetting of any potential landlord or property management company. Once your bases are covered, you’ll enjoy your renting experience more knowing exactly who is on the other end of your lease agreement.

Ready for a property management company that truly puts its tenants first? Class A Management has thousands of units under management and we welcome the opportunity to show you around. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

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7 Lease Violations You Can Unknowingly Commit

As a renter, lease violations are easy to commit if you haven’t thoroughly read your lease agreement. How often have you taken the time to thoroughly read through a lease before you sign it? If you’re like most tenants, you probably skim the text for dollar signs, but otherwise assume you won’t violate any terms of the lease because you’re a generally good person.

Yet, in so doing, you’re legally binding yourself to an agreement you may not fully understand. This is the situation many renters find themselves in, especially when it comes to lease violations they didn’t even know existed. Here are 7 examples.

  1. You bought a new car or borrowed your friend’s car while yours is in the shop. Most leases require tenants to register all vehicles with the leasing office. Neglecting to do so is a violation and can result in a fine or towing. Yes, even when just borrowing.
  2. You support your favorite candidate with a campaign sign in your window. While political opinions aren’t against the rules, going against property uniformity may be. Look closely and you may find that your property has a rule against placing anything in or around the unit that keeps it from looking like others.
  3. You decide to grill steaks out on the patio. If using an electric grill, you’re probably okay. But, open flames are a big no-no near building or overhangs and can result in fines or worse due to the risk of fire.
  4. You leave town for a couple of weeks for a much-needed vacation. Indignant that your property may have a rule against getting away? Consider it a way to protect yourself and your belongings. Landlords will most often want to know if you’ll be away for extended periods of time. They will be more alert to your unit, watching it while you’re away. You may have to sign an agreement that he/she can enter while you’re away in the event of an emergency.
  5. You let a friend spend the night…with her new kitten. If your property has a “no pets” policy, it covers even one-night stays. You could wind up facing a hefty fine even with the best of intentions.
  6. You let a friend spend the night…for the whole month while she’s searching for her own apartment. You must be the nicest person on Earth. Yet, your lease likely specifies how long a guest is considered such before they are considered a tenant who needs to sign the lease and pay additional rent.
  7. You find a great bundle and sign up for satellite TV. Attaching a dish to the owner’s property is usually not allowed, and it’s not the satellite company’s job to know it. Imagine having to pay to have the dish removed due to a lease violation, then being stuck in a contract for satellite TV you can’t even watch. Check your lease terms.

Avoid Lease Violations With Clear-Cut Lease Agreements

Class A Management has a number of properties throughout Texas and the surrounding areas. If you live in one of our properties and have a question about the terms of your lease, contact your apartment manager or login to your tenant account to send a question. If you’re looking for a new apartment rental, check out our apartments for rent in Texas and Oklahoma.