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Illustration about the important checklist to follow when looking for a place to live

The Must-Have Rental Property Checklist: What to Look For in a Home

September 1, 2018

Looking for a new home can be an exciting whirlwind. But it is important to take your time and take a somewhat analytical approach to finding and moving into a new rental. Don’t rush the process or let first impressions blind you – remember your lease will probably lock you into this home for at least the next year.

The following tips and checklist should help you remember to look around carefully and document the condition of any home, which will help ensure you don’t miss major flaws or get charged for pre-existing problems. Bring this or another checklist and a camera with you when you walk through properties. When it comes time to move in, ask the landlord to walk through with you as you note the property’s condition. Here’s a room-by-room list of items to consider:

Dining Room

  • Floors
  • Floor Covering
  • Windows
  • Screens
  • Doors
  • Light Fixtures
  • Condition of any furniture in the room
  • Smoke Detector
  • Any other factors related to the room’s condition

Living Room

  • Floors
  • Floor Covering
  • Window Coverings and Drapes
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Light Fixtures
  • Windows
  • Screens
  • Doors
  • Fireplace (if one exists in the home)
  • Smoke Detector
  • Any additional factors in the room

Kitchen

  • Floors
  • Floor Covering
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Light Fixtures
  • Counters
  • Cabinets
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Sink
  • Smoke Detector
  • Any additional aspects of the room

Bathroom

  • Floors
  • Floor Covering
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Screens
  • Doors
  • Counters
  • Light Fixtures
  • Toilet
  • Bathtub
  • Showers
  • Sink

Bedroom

  • Floors
  • Floor Covering
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Screens
  • Doors
  • Light Fixtures
  • Condition of any furniture in the room
  • Any other characteristics of the room

Other Items To Inspect

  • Cooling and heating systems
  • Garden/lawn condition
  • Balcony and patio condition
  • Hallways
  • Parking area
  • Basement

If you chose to move into an apartment with any defects or damage, make sure that both you and the landlord detail the problems clearly and in writing, preferably accompanied by pictures or videos. If it is something that you need or want fixed, discuss it with the landlord and ensure any agreements about repairs are in writing. In lieu of repairs, you may be able to negotiate the rental rate to reflect the home’s reduced desirability before signing a lease. The following link has more information about elements to look for in rental properties.

 

 

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