Renting Checklist

Things to check/verify when checking out a place to rent. Borrowed/Combined with this lifehacker article, and this comment on the article, which is much more useful.

HVAC & Utilities

  • Central or Wall AC
  • Heating? What’s that like?
  • Water Heater? How many apartments share it? Where is it?
  • Water
    • Verify all sinks, showers, and toilets work.
    • Check how how they take and how long it takes sinks & showers to get hot.
    • Verify shower pressure
    • Verify no toilet backup
  • Laundry

Garage

  • Shared? Or are we the only ones with access?
  • What’s it wired for? (220 V AC would be great for EV charging)
  • Bays?

Kitchen

  • Stove/Oven:
    • Gas or Electric?
    • Age?
    • Do burners work?
    • Smell?
  • Verify that all cupboards are clean. Shine a light in them.
  • Dishwasher

Bathrooms

  • Verify fan works
  • Check for mold

Electrical

  • Outlets/room.
  • These should all be grounded.
  • Capacity. Can we run everything all at once?

Maintenance

  • What’s their general policy on this?
  • Who’s responsible?
  • Do they have recommendations on who to call?

Previous/Current Tenants

  • How long were they there?
  • Why are they leaving?
  • What has the interest been since it’s been listed?
  • What have prospective tenants found concern with?

Neighborhood and Surrounding Area

  • Check a crime heat map.
  • How far is the nearest grocery store? Is it good? How far is the nearest decent grocery store?
  • What is there to do near the place?
  • Where are the nearest coffee shops?
  • How’s the commute like to your jobs and other common places to go?
  • How are the other people in the area? Mostly people renting or owning? Students? etc.

Overall

  • “General care and upkeep: are old nails, window hardware painted over a million times? Did previous painters mask the light fixtures, or just paint over them? Indicates they use bargain handyfolk”
  • “Potential weekend-wakers: church nearby, early gardeners outside, children, garage door under unit, streetcar/bus line, construction”
  • Flooring
  • Verify all locks work.
  • Noise from neighbors: Above, Below, next door.
  • Did you notice any bugs?
  • History of rent increases.
  • Where to store bikes.
  • Does landlord visit often? What are there expectations/policies when visiting?