When a tenant moves out, an apartment checklist helps compare the apartment's move-in condition with the present condition. Many apartment landlords routinely provide checklists to their tenants to fill out when they move in. Some states even require apartment landlords to provide a move-in checklist so that renters may inspect the unit and report their findings.
Apartment Checklist Features
Apartment checklist forms, also know as apartment damage checklists have various sections. Several relate to the actual move-in condition of the apartment itself and the different features and rooms within the unit. Apartment checklists may also have boxes for tenants to rate the condition of various areas, typically with options such as "good," "fair" or "poor." Honestly rate the condition of the apartment being inspected and note all areas requiring repair before. This allows the landlord to make repairs and protects you against having to pay for pre-existing damage after you move out.
Walls, Floors and Ceilings
Apartment features tenants typically must inspect and rate upon move-in include walls, floors and ceilings. Wall paint should be clean and free of chips, flaking and holes. An apartment checklist also includes a section for flooring. Visually inspect for defects such as rotting or dampness, chipping, peeling, lifting and dirtiness and check for uniformity in carpeting, tile, wood and laminate floor surfaces. Apartment ceilings should show no signs of holes and leaks and ceiling fixtures should be in working order.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Use an apartment checklist to rate the unit's kitchen, paying attention to the stove, refrigerator, any dishwasher and garbage disposal, and the cabinets and counter tops. This will require you to turn appliances on and off, open and close cabinets and drawers and run the faucet. Also inspect the condition bathrooms, including its major components -- toilets, sinks, tubs and showers, mirrors, vents and fixtures and cabinets. Leaking or damaged plumbing in an apartment's kitchen or bathroom should be immediately noted on the checklist and repaired by the landlord.
Safety and Comfort
A good apartment checklist will ask tenants to assess the safety features of their units, such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors and security systems. Locks should work, and doors and windows should open and close properly. Heating and cooling units should also work appropriately if included as a feature of your apartment on your rental agreement.
Using an Apartment Checklist
Have the landlord sign and date the apartment checklist. Also, provide your signature. Keep a copy of the completed apartment checklist so you may refer to it upon move-out. An apartment move-in checklist prevents a landlord from claiming you caused damage that was already in the unit when you moved in and withholding your security deposit for repairs.