How do you know if you’ve found the perfect rental when you’re looking for your future home? It is easy to evaluate your next rental property in order to make sure it has the features that matter most to you with the Ultimate Rental Property Checklist. Consider printing this checklist and bringing it with you as you search for your future home.
The task of searching for the perfect rental, whether a home or an apartment, can seem daunting and time-consuming. Is there parking? Do they allow pets? How much is the security deposit?
You will find yourself asking so many questions, it is understandable you might feel overwhelmed. Not to mention, keeping track of which properties had which features. A lot of rental ads will highlight a property’s fanciest features and impressive amenities, but it’s equally important to think about the basic essentials of a good home.
If you are in search of your dream rental, don’t get sidetracked by specialty features, remember to check for these basics to ensure the space is truly one that you will be happy with during your tenancy.
How Safe is the Property:
Security is such a crucial feature that it is, ironically, often overlooked. Tenants believe that the landlord or property manager will do everything required to ensure the safety of the residents that key questions are often never asked. Unfortunately, what the landlord is required to do, and what safety measures matter to a tenant, do not always match up.
Ask the property manager if the locks have been changed between tenants (or if there are plans to do so before a new renter moves in). You might be surprised to learn that lock changes between tenants is not a requirement, depending on your state’s laws.
Ensure the lighting outside, in common areas, and stairwells are adequate to deter crime and don’t forget to ask what additional crime deterrents are in place. Is there a buzzer to let tenants’ guests in the building or a camera by the entrances? All the amenities in the world cannot make up for the inadequate security of a rental property.
How Livable is the Property
Check for basic features that should be in working order in a rental. Verify that smoke detectors are present and working in bedrooms and every level of the space; ensure that there is also a carbon monoxide detector in the unit.
While it may seem unconventional to do so, test each light switch, each faucet, and toilet. Exposed wiring around outlets, or flickering lights when switches are flipped, can indicate a potentially serious electrical issue. Faucets should be releasing water at the appropriate temperature, and toilets should flush properly.
If the management does not seem ready to resolve the issues now–when access is simple without residents to work around– chances are, they may not be the most attentive when you report an issue while living there. If the landlord or manager seemed to genuinely not be aware of an issue, request that it be fixed before move-in.
What Type of Lifestyle Does the Property Promote
Now is the time to compare the space to your lifestyle, or ideal lifestyle. If you have children, check to ensure that the rental is within a good school district, proximity to parks, and even evaluate the areas for children to play outside of the unit itself. If you have pets, verify that the unit is pet-friendly, and evaluate its level of pet amenities.
Finally, don’t forget to asses the limitations or benefits of the rental’s location itself; is it far from work? Is there public transportation close-by?
What Extra Features Does the Property Offer
Ask about unit-specific benefits like recent remodels or touch-ups, included appliances, additional storage areas and other features that could “seal the deal” for you. These features are certainly important, but checking for the previous features first can save you from falling in love with a place that might look great, but won’t fully fit your needs, or worse compromises your safety.
We know it’s a lot to think about when touring multiple spaces, so don’t worry; we have made the process simple by providing a downloadable checklist so you can take notes, and find the perfect rental for your needs!