Moving into a new apartment can be a fun and exciting experience, but it still comes with plenty of responsibility. Before moving in, you'll want to inspect your new apartment, and make sure that you and your landlord agree on the condition of the property before your tenancy. This is important because tenants are typically responsible for paying for any damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear. You'll want to be able to show that any pre-existing problems with the property were not your fault, so that you don't have to pay unnecessary damages. Also it's a good idea to have a reference point for the apartment's appearance so that you can restore it and get your security deposit back if you eventually decide to move out.

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When inspecting your apartment, you'll want to fill out a Renter's Inspection Worksheet and describe the state and contents of each room, and note any additional observations. Take a disposable or digital camera with you, since pictures can be invaluable for your records.

Here are a few basic things to look out for:

  • Open all closets and drawers
  • Test faucets, toilets and shower-heads (watch out for low pressure or leaks)
  • Make sure any appliances are functional
  • Ask about heating and air conditioning
  • Touch the walls and look for damage
  • Make sure all doors and windows are intact
  • Check that the apartment is up to code for fire safety

Once you've filled out your Inspection Worksheet, both you and the landlord need to sign it. Make copies, and keep one on file for future reference.

You can create your Renter's Inspection Worksheet today with Rocket Lawyer, or Find a Lawyerto help you with any of your legal needs.

Get started Start Your Renter's Inspection Worksheet Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.