In the early posting of this series, Renter’s Resources – Home Search Websites, there was a section, Build Your Home where I wrote about the importance of shopping around when looking for your new rental. I encourage you to go back to that post and read it. In building your rental home, it helps to have a map of the things to look for when shopping around. The things you will look for will be features that members of your household and you desire as well as whether or not everything works as it should. I found some great checklists that you can use for this. I would even recommend copying and pasting items from them to compile a checklist that caters to the needs of your household and you.
Landlord & Lease Checklist – a short and simple checklist with great questions to ask and things to look for when searching
Off Campus Housing Renters Checklist – Thorough checklist and even though it is for college students, it is also useful for regular apartment and house renters.
Zillow – not a conventional checklist but rather a list of questions to ask yourself and things to consider in your search
All the above lists have some great things for you to put on your personalized checklist in addition to whatever specific things your household and you desire.
You signed the lease and moving day is here or almost here! Congratulations! One more checklist that I highly recommend that you use before you unload and unpack your moving boxes, a Move-In Checklist. Many landlords tend to have one that they will give you to use but if not, the lists below should do. The purpose of a Move-In Checklist is for you to record the status of the property before you move in noting any damages that already exist there. This will cover you for when you move out and help prevent you being charged for damages you did not cause. Also, it will alert the landlord of any issues that need to be addressed on the property. It is imperative that you keep a copy of the completed Move-In Checklist for your records! Keeping it in a secure place where you can easily access it on moving out is ideal. I also found that it is suggested that you video and/or photograph the property and also keep a copy of that video or those photos in a secure place for future reference. If you cannot video or photograph the entire property, at least record or photograph the damages you note on the checklist.