Author Topic: Inspect An Apartment  (Read 3105 times)

Bruised_Pepper

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Inspect An Apartment
« on: November 08, 2013, 02:07:40 PM »
I moved to a new city a few months ago, and I've been renting a room from a local couple ever since.  It's a cheap living situation, but it's temporary (and a little far away from everything), so I've been looking at apartments for a while now.  I finally found a reasonably-priced one bedroom in the exact area I've been searching: it's a five minute walk to the city's main drag, ten minutes to work, the library, the gym, and fifteen minutes from the light rail station and my favorite nightspot.  Perfect.

The apartment is run by a management company a few blocks down the road from the actual apartment.  Tomorrow, I have to go get the keys and walk down to the apartment to check it out myself.  I found this strange at first, but I realized that I can take my time inspecting the apartment without having to listen to a manager's spiel.  So my question is: what should I look for?  I've had good experiences renting before, but it definitely wasn't because I did a thorough investigation.  I'm just a little worried that I might not judge it with a level head, since it otherwise seems great--and I'll probably have to commit quickly due to the low price for the location. Anyone have any ideas for a more thorough inspection?

For reference, it has a ceiling fan, window A/C, gas stove, refrigerator, counters and a shower/tub. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 02:45:27 PM »
If the apartment you'll be looking at is the same exact one you'll be taking, then take lots of pictures of anything that looks worn or damaged (special attention to flooring, walls, window treatments and counters as those tend to be the things that do get damaged or worn), and write out notes as well of the locations. Check that all the stuff - appliances, switches, (HVAC - turn on the a/c and the heater and let it run long enough to feel the air blowing out of vents, and check all of the vents to see if they have air flow), hot water, faucets, tub and toilet - all work properly and make notes if they don't. Print out copies of both and turn into the management company. Ask them to fix anything that doesn't work properly before you move in, or get a timeline on when it will be fixed. The worn or damaged stuff is so that you can prove the condition when you moved in, and that you didn't cause any of it that.

I've done that with every rental situation and usually takes me under an hour and it's meant that when I move in, I'm assured that my ass is covered and I always get my deposit back in full, and that they are aware of anything that needs fixing before I even moved my stuff in.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 04:07:57 PM »
Those are some good ideas.  I will be looking at the exact apartment that is for rent, so at least I'll know exactly what I'm getting myself into.  I took pictures in a previous apartment, but that was when I was moving out (and was paranoid that they would charge me to replace the carpet). 

I'll test everything out, check for wear and document, document, document. 

StarryC

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 04:27:54 PM »
Evaluate the upstairs neighbors, if any, if you can.  Unfortunately, the time when they become annoying, say 11:30 on Tuesday, is not usually when people are showing apartments.   Evaluate the parking situation if you have a car, and the bike storage/ locking situation. 

Evaluate the seals on windows and exterior doors to determine what your utility issues will be.  Consider how you'll place furniture.  Measure the doors to see if you will be able to fit your furniture in the door/ up the stairs.  Think about anything you might need to buy based on the space (shower curtain?  Curtains/ blinds? Rugs?) so you can start looking for them at a good price.

Eric

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2013, 05:15:38 PM »
This may sound gross, but one thing I would do inspect for cat urine.  Check the corners of the bedroom and closet, spread the carpet fibers and stick your nose down real close and take a deep breath.  The cleaning can mask the scent for awhile, especially from 5-6ft above the floor, but the smell always comes back.  You can always smell it if you're close.  A nice ammonia-type scent. 

lhamo

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 12:44:02 AM »
Look very, very carefully for any signs of mold or water damage.  Look closely at any places that have been freshly painted to see if it looks like it was an attempt to cover up such damage.  Check what kind of frames are in the windows -- if the building is older with metal window frames, there can be issues with condensation in cold climates. 

Listen to see if the outside noises are noticeable/disturbing.  Road noise is the obvious one, but also elevator or door noise, laundry room noise, etc.

Check the cleanliness of kitchen appliances and ask that oven/fridge be thoroughly cleaned if they haven't been already.

 

monarda

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Re: Inspect An Apartment
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 10:01:45 PM »
This may sound gross, but one thing I would do inspect for cat urine.  Check the corners of the bedroom and closet, spread the carpet fibers and stick your nose down real close and take a deep breath.  The cleaning can mask the scent for awhile, especially from 5-6ft above the floor, but the smell always comes back.  You can always smell it if you're close.  A nice ammonia-type scent.
A better way to check for cat urine is with a black light. We bought one that looks like a spiral CFL bulb.  You have to do it in the dark, but the spots on the carpet are super obvious.