What to Look for During a Rental Tour

Published online: Jul 17, 2020 / Renters

So, you’ve finally narrowed down your new apartment or rental home search. While the research is over, you’ll still want to visit an apartment before you sign the lease and move in. Walking through an apartment will help you analyze some things you may not have considered before. As you tour an apartment be on the look for things within these four categories. 

Safety / Cleanliness

Before you settle on a rental, check safety areas. Your landlord may agree to switch the locks on the doors, but you should still determine how safe the doors are and ensure that they shut properly. Other safety areas to check are the windows. Some places have screwed or painted windows shut, which can be a safety hazard. If you are nervous about the neighborhood, you may want to look for a home within a gated community. As you look for safety issues, you should also keep cleanliness in mind. If the unit has signs of rodents or pests, it may not be your dream apartment. 

Amenities

When you were on the hunt for apartments to tour, you were probably on the lookout for some amenities. As you walk through an apartment, make sure the amenities that were advertised are there and work properly. Are there laundry hookups or a facility on-site? Do they have free internet access or will you need to pay for it? Questions like these will help you whittle down your search until you find something with the amenities you want. However, you should also pay attention to the amenities you might not consider, like the water pressure, floor conditions, windows, and lighting to make sure these are in a condition you’d expect. 

Surroundings

As you tour the property, be sure to also tour the neighborhood. Neighborhoods can affect how you view the rental unit. For example, you might be close to nice schools, a grocery store, or restaurants that make the rental more appealing. The neighborhood can also indicate the noise level you’ll expect and what parking will be like for you or any guests. If you tour during the day, consider driving by at night to assess if the noise level seems different. It’s also smart to research crime rates in the area to determine how safe it is for you to live there. 

Needs

If you can’t check every box on your list of wants, be sure to find something that at least meets your needs. Your budget should be at the forefront of every apartment you tour. Make sure that your maximum budget will also cover utility costs, deposits, and other move-in fees. Landlords can typically give you an estimate for how much you’ll spend on utilities each month. You should also think about how much space you’ll need. Does it have the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that will fit the needs of you and your family? Lastly, make sure that the unit has a move-in date that works for you. 

As you tour different rental properties, keep this list in mind to help you find the unit that meets your expectations for safety, has the amenities you want, has appropriate surroundings, and meets your needs. This list will help you narrow down your search until you’ve found the perfect fit.