You wouldn’t drive your new car off the lot without giving it a thorough once-over, right? The same logic applies when moving into a new apartment. The apartment can be perfect on paper — ideal location, impressive amenities, and rent that works with your budget — but there are some things you’ll only know for certain after you experience what it’s like to be in your new home.

In the event you aren’t able to view your future apartment prior to committing to it, you’ll want to tour the community grounds as well as a comparable unit. Most apartment communities have similar features in all of their apartments. You’ll be able to judge things like lighting, water pressure, and appliance quality no matter which unit you view.

Regardless of whether you’re peeking at your new home, specifically, or another available apartment, take time to ensure that there are no apartment hunting red flags. To make your visit even more worthwhile, it’s helpful to use an apartment walkthrough checklist to cover all your bases.

Why Is An Apartment Walkthrough Important?

Signing an apartment rental agreement is a binding commitment to pay rent. Among the most important things to know before moving into an apartment is exactly what you’re getting.

Whether this is your first time renting or you’re a seasoned pro, a walkthrough is non-negotiable. Typically, you’ll walk through your apartment with a staff member to check for any issues that need to be resolved before you move in. Identifying these problems now will spare you the inconvenience of dealing with them after you’re moved in.

If you’re unable to view your apartment home prior to the move-in date, make sure your management company offers a satisfaction guarantee. Some companies will allow you to cancel your lease within a certain time frame if the apartment is not what you expected. As soon as you get your keys, ask the leasing staff to accompany you to your new apartment as you continue to work through your apartment walkthrough checklist. Regardless of when the walkthrough occurs, it is certainly one of the most important things to do before moving into an apartment.

Ultimate Apartment Walkthrough Checklist

Schedule a time to take a tour, and be sure to bring your smartphone along. Take pictures of any damage and make a note of anything that could be a problem down the road. Bring a tape measure to ensure your furniture will fit through the doorway. Bring a phone charger to test the outlets. These little steps will help mitigate unnecessary stress on moving day.

During your walkthrough be thorough. Pay attention to these key things to know before moving into an apartment:

Fire Safety

  • Get confirmation that all smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional.
  • Check the building’s hallways and common areas for fire safety features such as emergency exits, sprinklers, and fire alarms.
  • Ask about evacuation plan for your building and be sure you know where to go in case of an emergency. If you are moving into a midrise or highrise, ask where all staircases are located.


  • Examine the range and oven to ensure they are clean. Turn on the burners and oven to make sure they heat properly.
  • Test the overhead light and fan in the range hood.
  • Check your fridge for cleanliness. If it’s plugged in, be sure it’s cold and there’s no ice buildup in the freezer.
  • Open the dishwasher to see if it’s clean and rust-free inside. Test it to ensure it starts
  • Make sure the garbage disposal runs and the kitchen sink drains.
  • Look under the sink for any leaks or signs of water damage.


  • Turn on the sink and shower to check water pressure and temperature. Make sure the drains don’t back up.
  • Flush the toilet to ensure it drains properly and the bowl refills.
  • Look for cracked tiles, rust, or mildew on the tile or fixtures.
  • Inspect the floor for water. Damaged tile or damp spots around the tub or toilet could be a sign of a leak.

Other Important Apartment Walkthrough Items To Check

  • Check the AC or heat (depending on the season) to ensure the HVAC system is working properly.
  • Start a cycle in the washing machine and test the dryer. If you don’t have these in-unit, ask to see the laundry facilities. Be sure they’re clean, well-maintained, and well-lit.
  • Use your phone and phone charger to test all outlets.
  • Turn on all light and fan switches to ensure each performs its intended function.
  • Open and close windows and doors. Do they work as they should? Do they lock?
  • Check for doorstops and confirm that the doors have not damaged the walls behind them.
  • Make note of any imperfections in the flooring.
  • Document peeling paint, discoloration, dents, or scratches on all walls, doors, and ceilings.
  • Look for signs of water damage on the ceiling (bubbling paint, brown spots, etc.)
  • Check nooks and crannies for signs of rodents or other pests.
  • Ask to see all of your apartment’s amenities (pool, gym, common area, mailroom etc.) to be sure they are all clean and well maintained.

Schedule Your Walkthrough At Southern Management

An apartment walkthrough is a very important thing to do before moving into an apartment. It will help you confidently commit to your lease and settle into your new home. Check out an open house at one of our 75 communities and ask to discuss the Southern Management Difference.

We’d love to schedule an apartment walkthrough with you. We can answer all of your questions regarding our floor plans, how we handle maintenance requests, or anything else you’d like to learn about.

We are committed to customer care. Our goal is to establish long-term relationships with the residents who choose to call one of our 25,000+ apartments home. If you’re on the hunt for an apartment and you want to work with a team who will happily go through your apartment walkthrough checklist, reach out to our team today!