15 things to look for inside an apartment you want to rent

Are you looking for a new place to rent?

I had to move to a new place and I did not know the right questions to ask or the important things to inspect so I ended up with a few inconveniences.

In order to save you from the same trouble, I compiled a list of questions and tips that can help you decide about the new place you may want to rent.

  1. Location
    • Location, location, location. What is the walk score?
    • How close is it to your office?
    • What about rush hour? Can you go to work in the morning and get back home without suffering too much from traffic?
    • What internet provider can be used in this apartment complex? Some ISPs work in certain cities and not other cities
  2. General inspection
    • Keep an eye open for small details
    • Check for residual smells from previous tenants
  3. The floor plan
    • The division between the living room, dining and kitchen
    • Try to imagine how you would lay your furniture given the current floor plan
    • Where will you put the TV and the sofa so you have a nice view?
  4. Fixtures
    • Cabinets: are they sturdy and shining or rusty and almost broken?
    • Faucets: rusty or properly clean?
    • The age of the fixtures and how well they function
  5. The height of the ceiling
    • Ceiling too low and you can barely stretch your hands?
    • You are short but you have tall visitors?
  6. Sound and light pollution
    • Check for noises
      • Ask about the noises around you
      • You may not be able to get straight answer from the property manager. If you know residents try to ask them about the noise
      • Ask about noises from neighbors above you or next to you
      • Ask about how noisy it can be from the street or any nearby playgrounds
    • Check for the light source that can be annoying during the night
      • Light from the street can be annoying during the night
      • Do you have good curtains to block the light
      • Sun light is not pollution, it is a bliss, but it can be annoying sometime if you want to sleep in on a Sunday morning
  7. Parking
    • Some properties provide free parking
    • Ask about the parking fees.
    • Free open space parking but paid covered parking
    • Paid reserved parking spot
  8. Storage
    • Ask if they have in-unit storage
    • Ask if they have rentable storage units
  9. Package reception
    • Some properties receive the packages for you and keep them safely
    • Some receive the packages as a courtesy and only if you were not home to receive the package
  10. Gym
    • See if the they have on-site gym?
    • How big is the gym is? Do you have to wait in line to use the weight machine or the treadmill?
    • Is it well equipped?
  11. Common area / lounge
    • Do they have a common area where you can mingle with other residents?
    • Do they offer free internet in the common areas?
    • Do they have a sundeck? Can you BBQ?
    • Can you smoke on the sundeck?
  12. Pet friendly
    • Is this a pet friendly property?
    • How much do they charge per pet?
    • What kind of pets are allowed?
    • Do they have pet relief areas?
  13. What appliances does the apartment have?
    • Does the unit have a microwave?
    • Does it have a dishwasher?
    • Does it have a decent, and not so noisy, fridge?
    • How well the air conditioning and heating systems work?
    • Is the water heater in the unit? How big is it?
  14. Bath tub
    • If you like to soak in every night after work in a hot bath, you may want to check the bath tub
    • How big is the bath tub? Can you lay down in it and relax or you will be cramped in?
  15. The dryer and washer
    • Does the unit have a washing machine?
    • Does the unit have a dryer?
    • How big are the dryer and washer. Some apartments have really small washer / dryer units and thus you may have to go to a laundry to wash big items from time to time

This list is not comprehensive but I hope it helped you make the right choice.

If you think I missed something worth mentioning then please leave a comment.

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