Renting an apartment is a big and exciting decision to make – especially for a first-time renter. As with any important choice, you'll want to make sure that you've done your research and are well informed. Informed choices help take some of the stress out of big life decisions. Hazelview Properties is here with some renter tips that will help you rent smart. Here's how to inspect an apartment before renting.
Inspect the building
Your inspection should begin before you even enter the prospective apartment. After all, you are moving into a building and a community – not just an apartment. As you approach the building, have a look to see if all the lights are working. You may want to have a look at the outside of the building in broad daylight and after the sun goes down. The difference in the way a place feels at these two times can literally be night and day.
Once you're inside, ask yourself, 'Is the area generally clean and well maintained? Take note of the interior lights in common areas and hallways as well. Are they working?
Test the apartment's lighting
Inside your potential apartment continue to inspect the lighting. Turn the lights on and off in every room to make sure everything is in working order. Check for burn marks or cracks around lighting fixtures. If there are any burnt-out bulbs, ask for them to be replaced by the maintenance team.
Explore the electrical
Finding out that an electrical outlet doesn't work after you've moved in is annoying. You may want to bring your cell phone charger with you so you can test out the outlets. While you're at it, check to make sure that you get decent cell reception. No one wants to move in and find out they have to step onto the balcony to make a call.
Examine the walls and ceilings
Have a look at the walls and ceilings. While minor cracks may not be anything to worry about, larger cracks could be a sign of more serious issues. Check the ceilings for stains or signs of water damage. No one wants to move into a moldy home. If there are any holes in the walls from the previous tenant's pictures, be sure to note it and mention it to the property management team.
Check the windows
It's important to examine the apartment's windows carefully. Take a close look to ensure that the windows are intact -- meaning no cracks or broken glass. You should be able to open and lock them properly. If they have screens, check those as well. Make sure they're sturdy and have no tears. If you spot any issues, be sure to report them to the property manager on duty and inquire if they will be addressed before move in.
Test the appliances
One of the big advantages to renting vs buying is that you don't have to pay for appliances or their repair. Make sure all of the appliances are in good working order. If there are any issues, be sure to bring it up with the property manager so that it can be sorted out before you move in.
Check for creaky cabinets and doors
Open and close all doors and cabinets to make sure they are not loose or squeaky. If they are, ask the property manager to fix them before move in.
Don't skip sinks, tubs and water pressure
Turn on the taps in the sink. Make sure the hot and cold water taps work well. See if there is the adequate water pressure in the sink and shower and that the toilet flushes properly.
Test the smoke detectors
Check that the smoke detectors function properly. Smoke detector batteries should be changed regularly.
By spending a few minutes properly inspecting your prospective new home, you can rest easy knowing that you're making a sound decision. To find your home with Hazelview Properties, please visit our Home Finder section.