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Friday, 28 March 2014 05:08

What to Look for Before You Move In

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Whether you're moving into a new apartment or ending your current lease and checking out of one, you need to make a thoroughly documented inspection of the entire unit. We know you're eager to get unpacked and start decorating the new place, but this is really important.
Before you complete a tour of your potential new unit, review this list to make sure you know what to look for before you move in. If there are any items that need to be repaired or replaced, make sure the landlord does this before you move in. If there are many things wrong with the unit, you might just want to pass.

Look For:

1. Floors
Look for scratches, loose tiles or parquet. Be certain that there are no pieces missing.
For kitchens and bathrooms, they are better inspected when the floors have been mopped and swept. Tiles should not be missing, scraped, scuffed or popping out.

2. Walls
Check every wall carefully before you move in. First and foremost, the paint should not be chipped and it should be consistent throughout the unit. Make sure there are no stains on the walls. If your walls are wood-paneled, be sure that there aren't any loose or rotten boards.
Check to see if any of the walls show signs of cracking or repairs. This may also indicate water seepage problems or may indicate a breech in the building foundation.

3. Windows
When inspecting the windows, make sure you can actually open them. You face a huge safety hazard if the windows do not open properly. Every room should have at least one window that can open.
Make sure the windows aren't leaky and that the glass isn't chipped or broken. You don't want any missing panes of glass, either. The windows should operate normally and lock from the inside.

4. Electricity
Flick all of the light switches in your apartment or house. Do they work? Make sure none of them appear damaged or have loose wires hanging out. Each switch should have a faceplate as well.
If the lights don't go on, check the bulbs. Usually, you're responsible for changing those in your apartment if they're burned out. Obviously, the lights shouldn't flicker or throw sparks either. Also, you'll want to plug a small appliance (or an electricity tester) into each of your outlets to make sure that they all work.
Open up the fuse box if your unit has one. It shouldn't seem damaged or look like it has switches missing.

5. Fire Safety
In as much burglar proof doors are good security fitting, they should not stand in the way of providing an emergency exit. A fire extinguisher will also be an added advantage.

6. Utility Bills
Always ensure you have a copy of the latest utility bills with the last meter readings, ensure that the current readings are indicated in the inventory during take over to avoid paying someone else bills.

7. Bathrooms
Go into the bathroom and turn on the shower. First of all, does the water flow, and does it get hot and cold? Does the water look less than clear in any way? Look at the walls of the shower to see if there are any missing or damaged tiles or if mold is present.
Check out the toilets. Are they clean, and do they flush properly? Do they run when they aren't in use? Make sure the toilet doesn't leak onto the surrounding floor, too.
Take a look at the sinks. Check to see if the water drains properly. Also, be sure to check the cabinet under the sink to note any leaky water, mold or strange smells.

8. Bedrooms and doors
Now let's take a look at all the doors in the unit. All of them should shut tightly and fit properly in the frame. There shouldn't be any problems with the doorknobs or any locks. Check to see if any paint is missing or mismatched as well. Also, make sure that you have two sets of keys to the apartment -- the front door should have a normal lock.
In the bedrooms, check out all the closets and make sure the shelves aren't loose. If you haven't checked any of the above items in the bedrooms, now's the time to do so.

9. Kitchen
Most apartments have a kitchen of some sort, and there's a lot to look for here. If the kitchen has a fitted gas cooker (stove), do all of the switches work, and do all of the burners get hot when you turn them on?
Check out the pipes under kitchen cabinets for potential leaks in plumbing. For the furnished apartments take a good look at the refrigerator. Is it cold? Is there any mold in there? Is it clean, and did the last tenant throw out all of the remaining food?
This is also the time to check for any mold or mildew that might be in the kitchen, especially inside cabinets. You should also look for animal droppings that indicate a pest problem.

10. Pests
Now let's get to the gross part of apartment inspections -- it's time to check around for insect and rodent droppings. It may be a bit unsettling, but it's necessary. Don't you want to know about any pest problems before you move in?
First of all, search around the apartment in areas where pests are known to enter or gather. Look at gaps or cracks in walls and ceilings, near the tub and plumbing, around utility wires, behind the gas cooker and in the cabinets. Do you see anything that looks like small brown pellets or insect eggs? Have you found any roaches or mice running around?

If you've found any of these things, it's time for some pest control. You should ask your apartment manager to remedy the problem, but you may end up having to do it yourself. Be sure to identify just what kind of pest issues your new apartment faces – It is easier to eliminate pests in an empty house than in an occupied one

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