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October 10, 2012

Unit Condition: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

Finding the perfect housing solution to meet your needs can be a hectic, time consuming process. Save yourself some headaches by knowing up front what type of housing you require; the neighborhoods you would be comfortable living in; and if possible, walk all possible rentals prior to signing anything.

Walk all rentals first so you don’t end up with something like this! If you can’t personally do it, then have someone in the area that you trust do it on your behalf.

In this four week series, we will be covering the various aspects of smart renting and the steps that should be followed before signing a legally binding agreement. Below are some helpful hints and tips regarding a unit’s condition prior to arrival:

  • Always inspect the interior of a rental with the landlord or leasing agent prior to signing a lease.
  • Take photos of any and all damages and also complete a “condition upon arrival” form within 24 hours of moving in.
  • If this form is not provided, make sure to document all damages in writing too.
  • These items should include:
  • Cracks/holes;
  • Always take photos of damages no matter how big or small – especially when it is something major such as water damage.

    Water damage/stains;

  • Mold and odors;
  • Rusty water;
  • Leaks;
  • Faulty electrical wiring/outlets/light switches;
  • Inadequate heating/A/C;
  • Damaged furnishings (if applicable) and appliances;
  • Damage to the floors/carpets/baseboards;
  • Any signs you may see that there are insects or rodents living in the premises.
  • Always fill out a unit condition form upon arrival and departure and be sure you have the landlord sign it both at the beginning and end of your stay.

    Have the landlord and/or leasing agent sign a copy of either the form they provided or the written report about all damages that you created. Keep a copy of this form in a safe place for your records and so you can refer to this when you fill out the same information when you move out.

  • Check out the exterior of the building(s), common areas including courtyards, hallways, parking, and dumpsters and determine if these areas are in good condition and are well maintained.

As always, if you get an uneasy feeling about a particular complex or unit, do not sign any agreement until you are 100% satisfied with your new home.

Stay tuned for more on your rights and responsibilities as a renter next week. 🙂

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