Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Renting Checklist

Are you looking for your first apartment? Then it's important to know what to pay attention to during a showing to tell whether or not it's a well-maintained, safe property that will match your lifestyle and meet your needs. The following checklist can help:

A man looking on his smartphone for apartments available rent.

  1. Price: Clearly, the price is an important consideration. Ask the property manager if utilities are included in the rent. If not, ask how much they generally cost per month. It's also a good idea to find out whether you have to pay the first and last month's rent up front.
  2. Size: How large is the unit? Does it offer enough space for you and your belongings? If it's too small or too large, find out if there are any units available with a more appropriate size.
  3. Safety and security: Note whether or not the property has any security features like a fence, security cameras and a doorman or security guard. Check the front door of the apartment to see if it has a properly functioning deadbolt.
  4. Condition of the unit: Consumer Affairs advises paying special attention to things like whether or not the windows have screens and can be opened; what the condition is of faucets and other fixtures; and whether or not there are any mold or mildew stains on the walls, floor or ceiling. It's also wise to inspect the closets to make sure they're in good shape and clean. Ask whether the property offers onsite maintenance and how quick the response time usually is — including after hours.
  5. Kitchen appliances: Are they clean, in working order and up to your standards?
  6. Noise level: Pay attention to how much noise you can hear from outside, as well as from neighboring apartments.
  7. Tenants' opinions: Ask a couple of the tenants what they like and don't like about the building to learn more about any issues you might not have thought of.
  8. Condition of the structure: What's the condition of the exterior of the building, as well as of the common areas like the lobby and hallways? Are there cracks in the walls or stains on the ceilings? Is any of the paint peeling?
  9. Overall cleanliness: You want to live in a place that's clean and well-maintained. Pay attention to things like garbage in exterior or interior areas, as well as evidence of rodents or critters.
  10. Amenities: Some places offer onsite amenities such as a laundry room, gym, pool or game room. Inspect the condition and cleanliness of these spaces and the equipment in them.
  11. Lighting: recommends checking to see whether or not there's sufficient lighting in the hallways and common areas, as well as outside the building and in the parking lot.
  12. Parking: Does the property offer dedicated onsite parking, or will you have to park on the street? Will parking come at an additional cost?
  13. Pet policy: Is it a pet-friendly property, and if so, what regulations are in place? If you want to bring your pet, are there any additional fees?
  14. Neighborhood: Spend some time exploring the area to get a feeling of what it's like. Pay attention to things that are important to you — for example supermarkets, stores, outdoor spaces and recreational options. It's also advisable to do some more in-depth research, for example by calling the local police department to find out what the neighborhood's crime rate is.

Write down all concerns you have and discuss them with the landlord or property manager. And before you sign a lease, make sure to get in writing that any issues will be addressed before your move-in date. Once you have made that decision, remember to talk with a local independent insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered.

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK