Rental Check­list: What to Look for when Rent­ing a Property

Whether you are a local look­ing to shift loca­tion, or a tourist look­ing for a place to stay while on vaca­tion, know­ing what to look for is very impor­tant. Regard­less of your rea­sons for rent­ing a prop­erty, it will be your home for a period in the future, so there­fore it is impor­tant to have all your I’s dot­ted and T’s crossed. This check­list can help you to do so.

First Thing’s First…

Care­fully peruse the rental agreement

Any­thing in the agree­ment that you are not happy with should be chal­lenged before sign­ing. Be espe­cially care­ful to look for release clauses and infor­ma­tion on the landlord’s repair obligations.

Key Con­sid­er­a­tions

  • How much is rent and what will be covered?
  • Are bills included in the rent and if not, what bills do you have to cover?
  • If any repairs are needed, who is respon­si­ble for this?

On the Outside…


Be knowl­edge­able of the neighborhood

Ensure that the neigh­bor­hood meets all of your needs. For exam­ple is it noisy; are doc­tors eas­ily acces­si­ble; is it rel­a­tively safe? Can it be eas­ily accessed by car? If you don’t have a car, check to ensure it is eas­ily acces­si­ble by bus.


Depend­ing on whether you are rent­ing an apart­ment com­plex or a home within a neigh­bor­hood, it is impor­tant that you have ade­quate park­ing space close to where you are situated.

Exter­nal Appearance

Inspect the out­side of the house care­fully. Check for if there are any easy access points for poten­tial bur­glars and if it appears to be in good condition.

On the Inside…
Check Property’s Inventory….

…and make a note of any defects in equip­ment, while also doc­u­ment­ing the state of the items. This should be done for sev­eral rea­sons:
1) on con­clu­sion of your rental period you do not claim respon­si­bil­ity for any dam­ages that were present pre­vi­ously;
2) to ensure that despite any defects, the machin­ery is work­ing ade­quately;
3) to deter­mine if, despite the defects, you will still receive value for money.
Ide­ally the land­lord should sign this inven­tory and have a copy himself.


Whether you have a bicy­cle, impor­tant doc­u­ments or a ton of items that need to be kept some­where safe, ensure that your prop­erty will have enough space to suit your stor­age needs. This also applies to pantry space, linen space and clos­ets.

Check the water pressure…

….in all rooms espe­cially the bath­room and kitchen. Ensure that it is at a sat­is­fac­tory level and if not, deter­mine if the land­lord can have the issue resolved before mov­ing in. Also make sure the water comes out clear and there are no leaks once you turn the tap off.

Insects and other Vermin

If there are any signs of infes­ta­tion, turn around and find your­self another prop­erty to rent. Check the fridges, cup­boards, pipes, clos­ets, beds etc. for any signs of insects, as well as the feces of any unwanted ani­mals such as mice and lizards.

Elec­tronic Needs

Is Cable TV, Inter­net and Tele­phone cov­ered under your agree­ment? If so, ensure that the ser­vices pro­vided are ade­quate to suit your needs.

Safety and Security

Win­dows and Locks

Ensure all the win­dows and locks are work­ing well. These are key aspects of safety in your tem­po­rary home. The win­dows should be easy to open and func­tional, but not too easy that per­sons can eas­ily break in. The locks should also be study and secure.

Emer­gency Procedures

If you are rent­ing an apart­ment in an apart­ment build­ing, ensure that there is ade­quate pro­vi­sions in the case of a fire. This can include any­thing from work­ing smoke detec­tors and fire extin­guish­ers. Also, make sure if in the event of any haz­ard that there is an easy way of escape. While you want to ensure that your place is secure enough to pro­tect against bur­glars, it should not be like Fort Knox where you can­not eas­ily escape in the event of fire or any hazard.

How­ever, the most impor­tant thing to do when in the process of choos­ing a rental prop­erty is to ask ques­tions. It may be annoy­ing, but it is essen­tial that you get answers to any queries you have about things you may not be able to see with the naked eye.

There are some hor­ror expe­ri­ences where per­sons who did not care­fully inspect their rental prop­erty and took every­thing at face value had some unpleas­ant sur­prises such as low water pres­sure, bad smells from air con­di­tion­ing and faulty elec­tri­cal issues. Remem­ber, the prop­erty you are inter­ested in may appear to be per­fect on the out­side, but it is also very impor­tant to look deeper for any faults.

© Photo 1 taken from Netdna​-ssl​.com
© Photo 2 taken from Karpreal​.com
© Photo 3 taken from Kent​prop​er​ty​con​sul​tants​.co​.uk
© Photo 4 taken from Con​trol4​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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