Landlords and property managers are legally required to provide their tenants with safe and secure living conditions. Unfortunately, not all of them comply. This is why it’s essential to do your due diligence as a tenant when viewing a prospective rental property. Here’s a handy checklist of things you need to inspect to help you make sure the property you’re renting is safe enough for you and your family.
Examine the electrical work
Ensure that the wiring in the unit isn’t exposed and that all the lighting fixtures, sockets, and switches are working correctly. Ask your landlord if they can provide you with a copy of the property’s electrical installation condition report (EICR). This is a formal document that every landlord must obtain before they can rent out their property. To acquire one, the landlord must book an inspection with a qualified electrician or contractor who will thoroughly examine the unit and recommend any necessary repairs and maintenance work to be done.
Research local crime rates
Your potential landlord might not be willing to give information about the crime rates in their area, or they might not know. Do your homework and research the crime statistics in that particular area. You can even conduct interviews with your neighbors, business owners, local police, and other residents to get a full picture of just how safe the neighborhood is.
Check for stains and damage on walls, floors, and ceilings
Visible stains on the floors, walls, and ceilings of a property are sure signs of a leak, which can be a costly and time-consuming headache to deal with. Keep a close eye out for these, as well as any apparent damage around these areas. Small scratches and holes aren’t usually a cause for concern, but large cracks and gaping holes are.
Observe the general maintenance of the space
Take note of little things like a musky smell, peeling paint, a sticky lock, or a drafty window. Although they might be easy to address, they could be a sign of a larger problem, especially when it comes to your landlord. It’s challenging to deal with an irresponsible and negligent landlord. Their genial attitude towards you on your first meeting might not necessarily reflect itself in the upkeep of the property.
Inspect safety equipment
Ensure that safety equipment such as gas detectors and smoke alarms are in good working condition. You should be able to see a light that indicates that these devices are on and working. Ask your landlord if they’ve been serviced recently and if he can make sure they’re in working order before your move-in date.
Scope out the exits and entrances
Do a thorough inspection of all the possible entrances and exits to the property and the surrounding area. There should be a clear route to an emergency exit and fire escape ladders that you can use in an emergency. You should also make sure the entrances have durable locks and safety features such as a chain lock and a peephole.
Before you sign on the dotted line, ensure that the property you’ll be renting ticks off all these safety features. This will help keep you and your family safe and secure in your new living space.