Renters' Checklist

Questions to ask the Landlord:

__What type of heat does the apartment have (gas or electric)?

  • Who pays for the heat, and what is the average cost?
  • Who controls the thermostat
  • When is the heat turned on?

__Is the apartment air conditioned?

__Who pays for other utilities (telephone, cable, etc)?

__Do you provide regular exterminating services?

__Can I hang pictures on the walls without being penalized?

__Are draperies, curtain rods, or blinds included?

__Are there limits to the number of occupants permitted in the apartment?

__Are pets or children allowed? Is there an additional charge?

__Are there any restrictions regarding guests, parties, etc.?

__Is parking available and if so, is there an additional fee?

__Will the apartment be ready for occupancy at the start of the lease?

__Will you put any promises or commitments in writing?

__What are the requirements for a full refund of my security deposit?

__Who do I call in an emergency?

__What do I do if I lose my key?

Things to learn about the facility locale, and amenities:

__Are the interior rooms and building commons areas reasonably clean?

__Are the walls in reasonably good condition?

__Is the carpet or flooring clean and in good condition?

__Are the appliances gas or electric and are they in good condition?

  • Is the refrigerator clean and in good condition?

__Is there sufficient lighting?

  • Do the light fixtures work?
  • Will I need to provide additional lighting?

__Are there enough electrical outlets?

__Are there sufficient phone jacks?

__Does the toilet function properly and not leak?

__Do the hot and cold water faucets function and not drip?

__Do the sinks, shower, and tub drain quickly?

__Are there any signs of water damage around water fixtures or on the ceiling?

__If the apartment is furnished, is the furniture in good condition?

__Will my furniture fit comfortably in the apartment?

__Is there sufficient closet space?

__Are there any signs of infestation?

__Are there laundry facilities in building?

__Is there storage space available in the building?

__Are the exterior grounds maintained in reasonable condition (grass/shrubs trimmed with no visible debris)?

__Are there proper containers provided for trash disposal with clear instructions (pick-up schedule, recyclables, etc.)?

__Who lives in the adjoining apartments and the neighborhood?

__How close are grocery stores, shops, restaurants, entertainment and public transportation?

Safety and Security:

__Is the main building entrance door sturdy, locked, and is there an intercom or doorbell for guest access?

__Is there a private mailbox (preferably lockable) for each apartment?

__Is the building number visible and readable from street?

__Is the exterior lighting sufficient?

__Does the building have a security system?

__Does the building have a fire escape? If not, where is the nearest emergency exit?

__Are there two emergency exits to the street? Are they kept clear and do they open outward without a key?

__Is emergency lighting provided?

__Are the hallways well lit?

__If it’s a multi-unit building, are there fire extinguishers available and identified on each floor?

__Are there handrails on all stairs?

__Is the apartment door in good condition? Does it have a deadbolt lock and/or a security chain?

__Are there smoke detectors in each sleeping room of the apartment?

__Are the windows unbroken, functioning, and lockable, especially on lower floors? (Bars or other security features are recommended for ground floor windows).

  • Are screens provided?
  • Does each bedroom have a minimum of one functioning exterior window?

__Is there a fire extinguisher near the kitchen?

__Are electrical outlets in bathroom and kitchen GFI type?

__Is the heating system in good functional condition?