Apartment Renting Checklist for the 2020 Renter

Apartment hunting isn’t easy. It takes days to search and finalize the one you like. There are so many factors to consider before you can make a final decision. You need to have a checklist to make the job a little easier for you. 

Here is a ‘what to look for when renting an apartment’ checklist that you can refer to.  


Next on the apartment inspections checklist are the floors and carpets in the apartment. Check them for holes or stains. Check if the flooring is peeling or chipped in the corners, or whether any floor nails are driven out. Look out for scuffs and document them so that the landlord knows that you were not responsible for them. 

Tug the corners of the carpeting and flooring to ensure they are properly fitted. Look for water damages such as dips, soft spots, or any kind of unpleasant smell. 


You would spend considerable time in the kitchen, so make sure it is in proper condition. If the stove and ovens are electric, check if the switches work and whether the burners get hot when you turn them on. Check for frayed wiring in the kitchen and get it repaired immediately. 

If the apartment has a gas stove, check if there is a smell of natural gas when it’s used. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector if there is a gas stove in the kitchen. 

Check all the cabinets and ensure there is no mildew or mold. Ensure the refrigerator is working and there are no signs of pest infestations anywhere in the kitchen.

Waste Disposal System 

Ensure the apartment either has installed a trash chute or trash valet for trash management. A garbage disposal can be a challenge in an apartment if there is no waste disposal system.

Trash chute is usually installed in multi-storied apartments and spans multiple floors. This allows the residents at different levels to dispose of their garbage from the chute. 

If there is no trash chute, ensure there is a trash valet. This is when the property owners arrange for someone to pick up trash from each house every morning. You will have to put your trash can outside the apartment at some scheduled time and an employee will collect it later.

Make sure some kind of waste management plan is in place before you move in. 


Always, always, always check for pests before moving in. Pests are unsanitary, can carry diseases, and damage your belongings. Look for rodent droppings and cracks or gaps that can house rodents or their eggs. 

Take out a flashlight and check all the rooms, garage, and attic thoroughly. Look for gaps in the walls and ceilings, near utility areas, and cabinets. 

If you see signs of pests and rodents, request your landlord to do pest control before you move in. 


Check all the locks on the exterior doors leading to the hallway and outside. Check for air leakage and get it fixed if there is any. 

Inspect the windows and ensure all of them have proper locks. This is crucial for security purposes. Look for cracked or loose panes. 

Check the security system and understand how it works. 


One of the things to look for in an apartment walk-through is the bathroom. Turn on the shower and look at the flow of the water. Is it getting blocked or going down the drain easy? Does the water look dirty or clean? Does it get hot and cold easily?

The toilets should flush properly and not leak. Look at the walls of the bathroom to spot any water damage, missing tiles, or mold. 

Finally, take a look at the sink. Check if the faucets also run hot and cold water. The water should drain properly. If there is any kind of damage to the porcelain or the faucets, inform the landlord before you move in. Check under the cabinet as well for leaky water. 

Since this is the room that is wet or has moisture, it can develop mold quickly. Check for it along with mildew. 


Take a look at the bedrooms next. Check the windows properly for leaks or any kind of damage. Check the locks of the windows for safety. 

If the apartment is furnished, check the bed for any kind of damage like cracks, loose bolts, or any evidence of bed bugs. Check the ceiling fans if they are in proper working condition. 

Finally, get to the closets. Cockroaches and mice may hide in there since they are dark and cool. Check for droppings to ensure that the closets are pest-free. Check whether the closet doors are opening and closing properly and that the hanging rods are sturdy. Ensure the flooring is free of any kind of damage. 

Parking Area

Next on the apartment inspection checklist for buyers is the parking area. If you live in an apartment complex, there will be dozens of people living in it. This means that you need to have a proper parking lot. Check if the parking is assigned or not for all the tenants. Understand how the parking will work if it is unassigned. 

Give a visit to the apartment around the time you leave for work and after you come back. This will give you an idea of how busy the apartment and its surroundings can get during work hours. 

Safety at Night

You would most probably visit the apartment during the daytime, but it is important that you make a night visit too. The surroundings of the apartment can change drastically during the night. Ensure that the apartment is safe, bright, and calm even during the night. Check the lighting of the parking lot and building as well. If it’s too dark or you feel unsafe, let the apartment go. 

Now that you know about how to pass an apartment inspection, you will be much prepared. Make sure you are completely happy and satisfied with the apartment before you move in.