A PROJECT OF THE County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

Checking out a Rental Unit

Here are some some things to keep in mind when checking out a rental unit.

  • Is the building safe?
  • Are there outdoor lights?
  • Locks on the windows and doors?
  • Are the grounds and building well cared for?
  • Is there parking close by, public transportation near?
  • Does your rental unit have adequate lighting in each room, hallway and outside the front and back doors?
  • Do the electrical switches work?
  • Are there loose wires exposed that should be in the walls, ceilings, etc.?
  • Are the electrical plugs covered with unbroken switch plates?
  • Can you easily turn off the main electricity/gas switch?
  • Does the plumbing work?
  • Do the toilets, sinks, hot water heater or dishwasher leak or drip?
  • Who is responsible for fixing the plumbing?
  • Are the walls freshly painted or still have a good coat of paint on them?
  • Are you allowed to put nails, tacks or hooks on the walls?
  • Are there cracks on the walls or ceiling?
  • Are you allowed to have water beds?
  • Can you have pets? What utilities do you pay?
  • Who is responsible for the repairs?
  • Who do you call?
  • What will cause you to lose part or all of your security deposit?
  • What cleaning are you required to do before you move out?
  • Do the air conditioner and heater work?
  • Is the lease or rental agreement for a year, six months or month-to-month?
  • Will the rent be increased soon?
  • How much notice will you be given before your rent is increased?
  • Are there any traces of rodents or insects?
  • When can the landlord enter your apartment without you being there?
  • Does the kitchen appliances, stove, garbage disposal work?
  • Do the doors shut easily? Are the door locks adequate?