Although not every management company or landlord arranges a walkthrough when you move into a new rental, it is wise on your part to do so. Make sure you orchestrate a walkthrough prior to moving in, to ensure your own safety and happiness in your new location.

For Safety, Do The Following

  • Ensure all smoke detectors work, and there are fire extinguishers. Carbon monoxide detectors are not as common, but they are a good precaution, but you might have to install your own.
  • Check for safety features like sprinklers and fire alarms in the hallways of your building.
  • Check for the building for a fire escape plan and ensure you know where to go in case of fire.
  • Make sure there are safety gates that you can open on any bars on windows so you can get out if necessary.
  • Ensure each sleeping area in the apartment has an operable window, which you can escape through if need be.

Windows and Doors

  • Make sure you have a key for each and every lock and check all door knobs and looks prior to moving in. They shouldn’t wobble and should lock properly.
  • Check all doors and windows to ensure they open and shut as they should.

Plumbing Issues

  • Make sure all faucets shut off as they should and that the sink stops work.
  • Check for leaks, dampness and dripping under and around every sink and around the toilets.
  • Test the water pressure of your place as well as the water temperature by turning on the shower and faucets.


  • Make sure all appliances work properly.
  • Run the air conditioning and heat to ensure they work as they should.
  • If you have access to laundry facilities, make sure the area is clean and brightly lit.


  • Make sure all switches work as they should.
  • Plug something like a phone charger into each outlet, ensuring they all work properly.

General Condition of Your Rental

  • Check for signs of water damage in your new place, especially the ceilings.
  • Check for stains, cracks and peeling paint on the walls.
  • Check under sinks, closets and the like for signs of droppings, insects and/or rodents.

 Additional Tips For Your Walkthrough and General Tips for Rentals 

  • Take along a camera. Document any issues you notice so you will not be blamed for preexisting problems. Photos will be your proof if you are falsely accused of damages.
  • Ensure you walk through the actual rental you plan on moving into not a model or other apartment. This is the only way you can document the actual place you will be living in or see potential issues within your apartment.
  • Inquire about whether or not the apartment is sub-metered, which means each tenant receives bills for each utility, such as water, natural gas, electricity, etc. If this is the case, you might want to ask for an estimate of the costs you can expect to pay.
  • Read the lease well. Don’t just sign it, but be sure to look through it thoroughly.

Renting is a great way to save money on overhead costs and cut down the time you spend maintaining your living quarters. However, you want to ensure the place you move into is in good condition prior to moving in and you aren’t blamed or charged for preexisting damages. Make sure you follow the above tips and you will be well on your way to rental happiness.