Moving into a rented property

You are on the threshold of moving into your newly rented apartment/single family home. This is a joyous time. On the same note, you must be careful of checking your unit when you get the keys. Ideally, you should get a printed move-in checklist. You must inspect the unit thoroughly before signing the move-in sheet. If there is anything wrong in the unit, make notes on the sheet and return to the landlord/leasing office/renter. You should also take pictures, if possible, to avoid any dispute in the future. This post explains how to complete your move-in sheet.

Move-in Checklist for rental property

When you move into the new home watch out for any signs of dirt, residue, and damage to the property. Follow the checklist that you are given. If there are any other signs of damage not covered in your checklist, put them down in the remarks or additional information section on the checklist. Make a copy of this list before you give it to your landlord/leasing office. You can also check the property by following this checklist.

  • Make sure that your unit is clean and free of trash.
  • Make sure there is no dust or dirt in the closets or cabinets, walk-in closets, and baseboards.
  • Make sure that the fireplaces are clean.
  • Make sure that the patios, balconies and storage closets, if any are clean, and free of any trash, dead leaves, and debris.
  • Make sure that all appliances are cleaned and scrubbed, painted, and sanitized. Look at the knobs and handles as well.
  • Make sure that the stove/oven/refrigerator/freezer/waher/dryer/heater/air-conditioner/dishwasher/microwave-oven is in good working condition.
  • Make sure that the sink and disposal system is working properly. Check if there is running hot/cold water in all the taps. Look out for any leakages.
  • Make sure that all locks and doorknobs are in good working order.  Check that the keys work well.
  • Make sure that all light covers/chandeliers should be clean and free from webs or dust.  Check if the ceiling fan blades are cleaned and dusted as well.
  • Make sure that the stove is clean and there is no residue on the inside surface of the oven. Check the burners as well and make sure you have new burner plates.
  • Make sure that the drawers and closet doors are in good working order.
    Make sure that all doors and windows get locked. Also check if the garage door opens without any problem.
  • Make sure that the mirrors and windows are clean (spotless).
  • Make sure that all doors and windows are clean, dusted, and washed. Check to see any damages to the doors and windows (like scratches, wood or paint peeling off, etc.)
  • Make sure that all bathrooms and kitchens are caulked (especially near the commode and bathing area) and cleaned.
  • Make sure that all light and plug switches work well. Ask for a replacement if these do not work well or are cracked or badly stained.
  • Make sure that the wallpaper or paint inside the apartment is clean. Usually the leasing companies/landlords get the apartment painted before leasing it out. It is always better to check for any sloppy paint work.
  • Make sure that the home is free of bugs. While this is a difficult thing to do, look out for webs and check the drains and cool, dark places for any bugs. Report to the leasing company/landlord if you see any bugs. They will immediately notify the exterminator.
  • Make sure that there are no marks on the carpet. Check if the floors are neatly mopped, waxed, and/or cleaned.

Most leasing companies have onsite maintenance teams and more than 99% of the issues will be fixed within a day or two. It is important that you are vigilant at the time of moving in. If there is any damage to the property you have to notify the leasing office. Otherwise when you move out of the property you may become liable for damages that are reported during move-out inspection (this is performed by the landlord). Overall, it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of the property when you move into your new home.