Apartment Viewing Checklist – 29 Items you shouldn’t miss

Touring multiple apartments can be a bit overwhelming at times. There’s lots of things to plan out, like what should you bring to an apartment viewing. Being prepared is key to saving time and getting the apartment you want.

We loved having prepared tenants so we created the ultimate apartment viewing checklist so you don’t miss out on anything in the short amount of time you’ll spend on the actual apartment tour.

So what should you check for on an apartment tour? Here’s our go-to checklist:

Apartment Safety Features

☐ Working locks

☐ Secure non-broken doors

☐ Secure non-broken windows

☐ Smoke detectors

☐ Carbon monoxide detector

☐ Fire extinguisher


☐ Cable hookup for Internet/TV

☐ Cell phone reception

☐ List of Internet providers

☐ Laundry present

☐ Storage present

☐ Parking


☐ Working lights/fans

☐ Working closet door(s)

☐ Space for your bed, dresser, etc.

☐ Working outlets (bring outlet tester if you’d like)


☐ Working lights/fan

☐ Working water fixtures (hot and cold)

☐ Functional toilet

☐ Water pressure


☐ Working lights

☐ Working appliances


☐ Access to circuit breaker

☐ Outdoor trash bins present & not overflowing

☐ No weird smells

☐ No excessive noise from outside or other units

☐ No damages

☐ No signs of bugs

☐ Take photos/videos

As you can see, there’s quite a bit to check, so we suggest you read through each checklist item a few times before beginning the showing so you know what to look out for. Also write down questions to ask when viewing the apartment so you don’t forget them.

Printable apartment viewing checklist

Below is our printable apartment viewing checklist. You are welcome to use it. If you want to share it online, you have permission only if you link back to this page.

printable apartment viewing checklist 1
printable apartment viewing checklist 2

What to do if something is broken, missing, or misleading

Some of the bigger items in the apartment viewing checklist above should have been written in the apartment listing. However, there are times that the apartment you just saw isn’t what you were expecting. Before you assume anything, be sure to communicate that with the landlord.

We had times where we didn’t know that something was broken in a current tenants unit until we were on the apartment tour. Some tenants of ours would choose not to bother us for small things which we found odd.

But that “small” thing could be important to someone on an apartment tour. So if anything isn’t what you expected, tell the landlord. If they’re anything like us, they will want to address it and get it fixed, adjusted, or changed before you move in.

Pay attention to sounds

When viewing an apartment it’s important to use your ears as well. Your appointment is just a small sample size, but can help you get a glimpse of what to expect when living there.

When it comes to sounds, pay attention to the outside noise- notice if you hear excessive road noise, or anything that could be annoying.

Pay attention to inside noise coming from other units. Do you hear the upstairs neighbors stomping while you are touring the apartment? If you’ve never lived with people above you, this can be an adjustment.

As with anything else we’ve mentioned above, talk to the landlord if you are hearing things that might cause you not to sign a lease. They may have an answer for why it’s loud at a particular time, or they may not and you just have to hear it.

Lots of people have noise sensitivities so always note any noises that could wind up bothering you.

Keep our checklist handy, show up, be prepared and dress nicely for your apartment tour. The more prepared you are, the better your chances at landing your dream apartment.

About Chad & Rachel

Rachel and Chad have over 17 years of experience as both renters and landlords. They were tenants in 7 different apartments before becoming landlords of 9 apartments in Chicago. Renting apartments from landlords and being landlords themselves have helped them gain the knowledge that they want to share with renters. Whether you are at the beginning of your rental journey or in the middle of your lease and dealing with complex apartment issues, we are happy to help where we can. Read more about Rachel and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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