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RentSMART: Your Apartment Inventory Checklist

You have signed the lease and are ready to move into your new apartment. However, there is one step that many people do not take seriously – completing the Apartment Inventory Checklist. This important process is vital to making sure you and your landlord are on the same page when it comes to the condition of the apartment upon move-in. If, when you move out, you don’t have a completed apartment checklist, you could be liable for damages in the apartment that were there before you.

The apartment checklist is a tool to provide written record of detailed aspects of the rental property and its visible and hidden condition. It’s also a good way to make a list of any repairs that you would like to the landlord to complete.

  1. Start in the bathrooms. Check the faucets to make sure there are no drips. Turn on the shower as well to check both the hot water and water pressure. Make a note of any visible stains, chips or scratches on the tub, sink, counter, walls and floor. Record anything out of the ordinary, such as the towel holder being dented or broken, light fixtures or outlets not working or ripples in the flooring from previous water damage. Always flush the toilets and gauge the force of the water.
  2. Check out all appliances. Turn on each burner on the stove until you see the coils start to glow. Turn on the oven and check to see it is heating up. Inspect the freezer and refrigerator, paying special attention to the seals on the doors. Turn on the heat and air conditioner if possible. Any other appliances that come with the apartment, such as a microwave, garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer/dryer or garage door opener should also be tested. Don’t forget to check each electrical outlet in every room as well.
  3. Check the windows and walls. Record every dent, ding, peel and hole on all the walls in all the rooms on the apartment checklist. Open and close the doors of each room making sure they are operational. Look behind doors, especially for doorstops so you don’t punch a hole in the wall with the doorknob accidentally. Open and close each window and make note of holes in the screens.
  4. Check the rooms. Do a complete inspection of each room in the apartment and its features. Some other things to remember on the apartment checklist are checking the door locks, inspecting the furnace and water heater, testing the smoke detectors, caulking around sinks, tubs and showers and carpet tears and stains.

Once you’ve done a complete walkthrough and finished a detailed apartment checklist for the apartment, sign the document. Your landlord should sign it and both of you should receive a copy. When you move out, the apartment will be compared to the condition as outlined on the apartment checklist.

Taking time out to complete this important checklist will be worth your while in the end.

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