Renting 101: What To Look For When Apartment Hunting


Finding a new place to live in is a competitive hunt.

You have to be careful, specific and fast throughout the whole process. Keeping some red flags in mind will also serve you well.

When you finally find the place you want, it’s always best to contact the management company or landlord and schedule a viewing.

This way you can get a new perspective of the place and reassure yourself, that’s the place you really want to live in.

It can be challenging, but it’s important to know as much as you can about the place before moving in. With that being said, we have prepared a checklist for you to simplify your apartment hunting…

hands on table in cafe making plans

It’s all in the planning!


Scope out the neighborhood 

Your neighborhood can have a big influence in your life. There are things to consider, such as the surrounding grocery and drug stores, the commute time and whether or not you feel safe in the neighborhood. It’s important to explore the area to make sure it’s everything on your must-have list.

Check out this Neighbourhood Guide for more information.

Check the doors and windows 

Although it seems to be unusual spots to check, doors and windows play an important role in protecting the safety of your home. They are also keeping you warm in the winter. You can check by making sure the locks are secure, and they open and close properly.

 Check the plumbing and water pressure

The building’s management company or landlord should do regular plumbing inspection, but you want to make sure everything is fine with the plumbing and water pressure. When you turn on the shower and flush the toilet, you can find out if the water pressure is decent, both hot and cold water work and the toilet flushes properly. You  should also check if there are any leak. This can confirm that everything is fine with the plumbing and you can take a nice bath after moving in.

Check the electrical outlets

Bringing your phone charger to apartment viewing is a convenient way to test all the electrical outlets in your potential home. You can walk around the house and test them by charging your phone. There are two things that you’ll get out of by doing this check: you will know if all of the outlets are working, and  you will find out if the outlets are located where you need them.

Check the heater and air conditioner

Don’t forget to confirm that they’re working properly. No matter what season it is, it’s always good to make sure your heater and air conditioner are available when you need them.

Pay attention to the ceiling, walls and floors

Pay attention to what you see when you enter the place. If you spot any sign of stains or holes, don’t be afraid to point it out to the management company or landlord if you want it to be fixed. You can also mention if you want the walls and ceilings to be repainted, or if you want the entire place cleaned before you move in.

 Listen to the noise level

If you are sensitive to noise, then you need to check the noise level in your potential home. Pay attention to the sound from the outside, neighbours and in the hallway to get an idea of the noise level in the place.

 Check the reception

We understand that cell phones are the perfect way to stay connected with others, that’s why we remind you to make sure you don’t forget to check the cell phone reception in your potential home. Sending a text or making a phone call can confirm if the place has good reception.

Go over your lease carefully

Before signing your lease, make sure you go through it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask for more time if needed. Even though finding an apartment is highly competitive, it’s okay to take your time to make sure you can commit to the agreement wholeheartedly.

It’s worth mentioning that when you rent an apartment, you are entering into a relationship with your management company/ landlord, which means communication is key. If you have any lingering questions or if there’s anything that you want, all you have to do is ask!

judge wishing contestant good luck

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Tiara Samosir is a journalist and freelance copywriter who takes Instagram very seriously. She has worked as a life reporter for The Bloordale Times, a lifestyle writer for Shameless Magazine and a freelance copywriter for Ten Ren's Tea. When not on deadline, you can find her coffee hopping or posing somewhere for her next Instagram post.

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