What Happens During an Apartment Inspection?

If you live in a rented apartment, the owner may perform routine inspections with notice.

During this inspection, they will check for various things, such as signs of interior damage to the walls or floors, water damage, illegal pets, and so on.

It’s good to know what owners inspect so that you can prepare well for the inspection. So, this article explains in that greater detail.

Different Things That Happen During an Apartment Inspection

The owner of the apartment will likely inspect both the exterior and interior of the apartment.

However, they are typically more concerned about the interior of the apartment.

This may also be because they may not own the apartment building. So, in some cases, the building’s management is responsible for repairing exterior-related issues.

Aspects That the Owner May Check in the Interior of the Apartment

Considering the interior of the apartment is more important, most of this article is dedicated to that aspect.

So, here are some things the owner is likely to do during an apartment inspection.

The Owner Checks the Smoke Detectors and Other Fire Precautions Are Working

One of the more necessary aspects of their inspections is determining if the smoke detectors are in working condition.

It could help you if you swap out the detectors’ batteries if they’re low before an inspection.

In addition to that, the owner may check if the fire extinguisher works (if one is provided).

It’s important to understand that it’s the owner’s responsibility to fix these. However, you must inform them before the inspection.

If not, you may have to end up paying for it.

If you did inform the owner or management but did not get a response, then keep proof of that. You can present that as evidence so that any faulty systems are not on you.

The Owner Checks for Missing Furniture (If That’s Provided)

Some apartments come with furnishing. Therefore, the owner is responsible for the condition of the furniture.

They may check for any signs of wear, such as upholstery damage like flattened cushions.

In addition to that, they’ll check if all pieces of furniture are present. You could get in trouble if they’re not.

The Owner Checks for Damage to the Floors or Walls

In the inspection, the owner will check if the floor’s carpeting is clean. If you are responsible for a stain, then you should have it cleaned beforehand.

If there was a stain before you moved, make sure to have some proof that you weren’t responsible for it. The same goes for any significant cracks or scratches on the floor.

You could also consider mopping the floors to leave a good impression on the apartment owner.

In addition to the flooring, the apartment owner may check for any holes or cracks in the walls.

If you had recently taken out a nail from the wall, cover it up with spackling paint and sandpaper.

The Owner Checks the Windows and Doors

There’s a good chance that the owner will check the integrity of the windows and doors.

They may look for signs of damage or cracks. The locks on the windows and doors may also be of interest.

If the door doesn’t seem to close properly or if you notice problems in the hinges, let the owner know.

The Owner Checks the Kitchen

The large appliances are often provided by the apartment owner when you’re staying on rent. These include the refrigerator, oven, stove, dishwasher, etc.

Thus, the owner may check the condition of these appliances. If there are signs of unreported damage, you may be held responsible.

So, report any issues immediately after you discover them.

During the inspection, they may also check the cabinets. They’ll simply look for signs of damage, such as scratches, cracks, etc. If there’s a lot of damage, they may choose to fix them.

The plumbing is also one thing that the owner may check. So, they’ll look for any leaks in the drainage. Moreover, they’ll likely look for any issues with the garbage disposal system.

The Owner Checks the Bathroom

Your bathroom’s plumbing is also on the checklists of owners during an inspection. In addition to that, they’ll also lookout for any signs of water damage due to plumbing issues.

Any dirty walls or mold growth can become a cause for concern. It is your responsibility to keep the bathroom clean.

The Owner Checks for Signs of Pets (If It’s Not Allowed)

Some apartment owners or buildings have strict policies against keeping pets. Therefore, you cannot keep one even temporarily as a foster.

So, the apartment owner may look for signs of any pets, including scratches on furniture, pet beds or toys, or loose fur on the floor.

You could get into trouble if you’re caught hiding an animal, especially if it’s not the first time.

Also read: Will My Landlord Know I have a Cat?

The Owner Checks the Electrical System

When inspecting the interior, the owner will check the entire electrical system. Therefore, they’ll check if all lights, other switches, and power outlets are functional.

In addition to that, they may check the fuse box to check if there are signs of damage or overloading.

Overloading could lead to a fire, so it’s best to have that sorted beforehand for your own safety.

If you notice that any of the bulbs flicker, you should fix them right away. Do this before the inspection.

The Owner Checks the HVAC System

The owner will determine if the HVAC system is operating well by blowing both cold and hot air. In addition to that, they may check if the thermostat is accurately providing data.

They’ll also check if the filters are clean. It could be your responsibility to keep them clean.

So, it’s best to clean or replace the filters periodically to prevent appropriate airflow. They may also check the last date that the filters were changed.

Doing so will also prevent damage to the system and keep your energy costs low. Moreover, the owner may check if the system has any water leaks.

The Owner Checks for Any Pests

One important factor that owners look for is any signs of pest infestation. If there are any signs, they may want to fumigate the apartment.

In that case, you may have to temporarily stay elsewhere.

Keep your home clean to avoid attracting bugs and other pests in the first place. Moreover, if you have a pet, be sure to keep it clean.

Also read: How Much Does Pest Control Cost for an Apartment

The Owner Checks for Signs of Inappropriate Behavior or Rule-Breaking

When you agree to become a tenant of an apartment, you agree to adhere to certain rules. Breaking those rules could put you in trouble.

Thus, the apartment owner may check if you’re following those rules during an inspection.

One example of rule-breaking or inappropriate behavior includes subletting the apartment. In many cases, that is not allowed.

If it is, you may have to first seek permission from the owner.

Another example is to have a friend move in without permission. Depending on your contract, it may not be allowed to do that.

So, always be sure to first check the contract before making any such decisions.

The Exterior of the Apartment  

The owner is not required to provide you with any notice to inspect the exterior while passing by or driving by.

It’s in your best interest to keep the exterior in good condition to reduce any complications.

With that said, we’ll give you a quick overview of the factors that owners check on the exterior.

The owner may check the main door for any signs of wear. They may also look at the walls in the hallway for signs of wear. If there’s wear, they may offer to fix or paint it.

Why You Should Make a Good Impression on the Apartment Owner

It’s best to have an apartment inspection go smoothly for two reasons. The first reason is that the owner may choose not to return the security deposit.

If they find any damage to the property by you, they may use that deposit to finance the repairs. Thus, you’ll lose money in that situation.

The second reason is that they may choose not to write a positive recommendation for you when you’re looking for another apartment.

Therefore, it may become harder for you to find a home.

Last Few Words

Speak to the owner about any problems because it’s their responsibility to address them.

However, if you don’t mention them beforehand, any damages could come out of your security deposit.

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