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Apartment Inspection Checklist

Posted: September 1, 2022
A tenant and a landlord go over the apartment inspection checklist after walking through an apartment.

Your landlord should walk through your new apartment with you or at least give you a checklist. If neither option is available, use our apartment inspection checklist to get ideas on what to look for when going through your apartment and documenting its condition.

View and Download Checklist

What to Know Before You Get Started 

You should know several items before you even begin your apartment inspection checklist. The following items to keep in mind are: 

  • You should always walk through your apartment with your landlord 
  • If your landlord can’t complete a walkthrough with you, make sure they give you an apartments inspection checklist 
  • Worse-case scenario is you don’t have a checklist, but you can take pictures, video, and then document everything down in written form and give it to your landlord 

A walkthrough is meant to protect both parties. After moving out, you don’t want to be charged with damages that were already present when moving in. If a tenant damages an apartment, a landlord will want to charge them for repairs if the damage didn’t exist before the tenant moved in. 

Apartments Inspection Checklist 

Your apartment checklist should be an extensive list that covers everything inside and outside your apartment. If the apartment inspection checklist is missing something, make sure you document somewhere and point that out to the landlord. A checklist should include: 

  • Safety features are included and work (fire extinguisher, smoke detector, fire alarm, emergency exit signs) 
  • Check that doors, drawers, doorknobs, windows, light switches, and blinds work 
  • Make sure appliances work 
  • See whether the plumbing works 
  • Look at the ceilings and walls carefully 
  • Keep an eye on cracks, water damage, paint or wallpaper peeling, chips, or stains 

Each apartment move-in checklist will have similarities and differences among them, but they all should include some space for the list above. If you see something like cracks in the wall, but you don’t have a specific spot on the checklist for it, write it down in the notes section or on a separate piece of paper. Additionally, you should take pictures and/or video of the cracks in the wall. 

More Apartment Inspection Tips 

The final apartment inspection tips should be included in your apartment inspection checklist, but if you don’t see it, write it down somewhere. The final tips include: 

  • Check for pests 
  • How does the balcony look? 
  • If you have your own stairwell, what’s the condition of the stairs? 
  • How do the laundry unit and laundry door look? 
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up or point anything out to your landlord when it comes to damages before moving in 

The inspection checklist and walkthrough are your time to get everything fixed or corrected before moving into your new apartment. It also helps you avoid paying for damages that weren’t your fault because you could prove they existed before move-in. 

Protect Your Future Self

Now that you know what to look for when inspecting your apartment prior to move-in day, you can feel confident you didn’t leave anything behind. Don’t rush through your inspection, and make sure everything is documented through pictures, video, and in a written form. That way, everyone is aware of any prior damage to the apartment when you move out.