The wait is over — you’ve found the perfect new place, and it’s finally time to move in. The excitement of a fresh space does come with a lot of work. As you move all of your belongings, unpack, and arrange, you might overlook one of the most important items on your to-do list: completing your apartment walk through.
For many renters, the walk through can feel uncomfortable. Remember that you aren’t being difficult or nit-picky by conducting a thorough inspection. In truth, this task should be given the same priority as the lease review. Neglecting to do it can impact your living situation, and it can really cost you when it comes time to move out. As you’re juggling other details, lighten your load with these new home walk through tips.
Set Yourself up for Success
Schedule the walk through to take place before the movers bring your goods but after the apartment has been cleaned and made ready for move in. Be sure the landlord or property manager is present during the walk through.
Make sure you have an apartment move-in inspection checklist so you don’t overlook any space — the detached garage or patio, for example. If the landlord or property manager can’t provide one, then find a sample template online to use.
Bring along anything you may need to help you document the apartment’s condition. A camera is a must (more on that later), but you may also want a small night light or your phone charger to check that all electrical outlets work. A tape measure may also come in handy.
Important Things to Remember During the Walk Through
Take your time. You have every right to be sure your future home is in a condition that meets your requirements. Use the checklist as your guide. Turn on faucets; flip light switches; test stove burners; determine if drain stops are functional. The walk through is not just about finding damage; it’s also an ideal time to ensure that everything in your new apartment works as it should.
Confirm that any repairs or installations (appliances, blinds, etc.) that were agreed to in the lease agreement have been completed by your move-in date, and document those that have not. If any repairs are pending, then agree on a time frame for completion.
Make sure you’re given the proper number of keys and fobs to not only enter the apartment but also to access storage, a shared laundry facility, a parking garage, or an elevator. If one is missing, mark this on the inspection form.
Document the Details
Err on the side of caution, and be as detailed as possible when filling out your apartment move-in inspection checklist. Remember that the purpose of the checklist is to allow all parties to compare the condition of the property on the day you move in with the condition of the property on the day you move out. Listing small details, such as scratches on baseboards, stains on the carpet, or windows that don’t open will protect your security deposit from being used to repair damage you aren’t responsible for causing.
Take pictures or video of any damage to the property. Provide digital copies to the landlord or property manager along with the completed new home walk through inspection checklist. This visual record may come in handy should there be a dispute about the condition of the apartment when it’s time to move out.
Wrapping Up a Successful Inspection
Sign and return the apartment walk through checklist by the due date but not on the first day you move in. Take some time — two to three days — to check all the features of the home first. You want to be sure that everything is in working order, and there may be items you didn’t notice during your initial walk through.
Be sure the landlord or property manager signs the rental walk through checklist. This signature is their agreement with your accounting of the current condition of the property. It’s also a good idea to confirm the landlord’s cleaning expectations upon move out.
Once the apartment walk through checklist has been signed by all parties, be sure to keep your copy of the document stored in a safe place, ideally with your lease. File it somewhere you’ll remember when it comes time to move out. That’s when you’ll need it most.
By investing the time in a thorough walk through when you move in, you’re protecting your future self when it’s time to move out. Fill out that apartment walk through checklist carefully so you’ll be free to enjoy your new living quarters with peace of mind. By following these new home walk through tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for success when it’s time to move again.
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