An apartment inspection is a routine check of the rental property. The property owner performs it to ensure the property’s condition.

Apartment inspections aren’t needed, only when you move in or out. As the lease agreement mentions, your property manager may stop by your apartment with notice to check the property’s condition. This is to make sure there aren’t any lease violations.

These are three of the primary purposes of apartment inspections. First, it maintains the cleanliness and functionality. Second, it prevents costly repairs. Third, it prevents property damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Here’s all you should know about apartment inspections.

How Do You Prepare for an Apartment Inspection?

It’s a good idea to clean your apartment before an inspection thoroughly. But an inspector won’t judge your housekeeping skills.

The main concern is the condition of the property.

Before an inspection, clean carpet stains and remove scuff marks on the walls. You may also need to make any necessary minor repairs.

Most of the time, inspections are intended to find minor problems. This can stop them from becoming expensive.

The apartment owner or property management firm usually pays for these. But if you caused the damage, you will be responsible for the repairs.

Apartment Inspection Checklist

When you move out, most apartments will have a similar checklist.

Once again, you can be financially responsible for any necessary repairs that are to be made. Thus, taking care of them before the moving truck arrives is best.

Below are the essential items you will cover in your apartment inspection.


The first thing you notice in an apartment is the floor. When moving in, ensure your carpet is clean, without tears or snags.

Ensure that your carpeting is everywhere. Also, there shouldn’t be any pieces missing. Your carpet shouldn’t smell bad or be stained, either.

Your bathroom and kitchen floors must be swept and mopped, too.

Ensure the tiles are not missing, scraped, popping out, or scuffed.

When moving out, ensure the floors and carpets are undamaged.


Before moving in, check every wall carefully.

You shall ensure that the paint isn’t chipped, the walls are stain-free, and the paint doesn’t have poisonous materials. It is also best to ensure the paint is consistent throughout the apartment.

Furthermore, if your walls are wood-paneled, ensure that there are not any loose or rotten boards.

Look for holes where you once hung posters or pictures for decoration.

When you’re moving out, you’ll have to fill in the holes you’ve added. You can use a spackle or caulk to fill in the holes.

Check the baseboards to see whether they are also damaged.


When you move into the apartment, turn in and turn off all the light switches. Ensure that there aren’t any light switches that are damaged. It is also important to ensure that no loose wire is hanging out of the switches and each switch has a faceplate.

Check the bulbs if the lights aren’t turned on. In case they burn out, usually you’re responsible for changing those in your apartment.

The lights shouldn’t throw sparks or flicker either.

Also, to ensure they all work, you’ll want to plug a small appliance (or an electricity tester) into each outlet.

If your unit has a fuse box, you should also check that. It shouldn’t have switches missing and shouldn’t be damaged.


You shall perform the following steps to inspect the HVAC:

  •         The thermostat is working accurately
  •         Unit is blowing hot and cold air, both
  •         No loose wires or hoses are sticking out of the unit itself
  •         The unit is not leaking water

Also, ensure the filters have been replaced recently and are not dirty or clogged. The previous tenants may not have put them in, so adding new ones will be your job.

Change them out every few months – if they’re dirty. The dirty filters can cause the HVAC to run inefficiently. This will also add up to your energy bill.


You shall check around for insect or rodent droppings.

Search around the apartment areas to look for where pests might have access.

Look at cracks or gaps in walls and ceilings. You may search in the cabinets, behind the stove, or near the tub.

It is alarming if you see anything that looks like insect eggs or small brown pellets. Also, confirm if you found any mice or roaches running around.

If you’ve found any of these things, it’s time for pest control.

It would help if you asked your apartment manager to fix the issue. But you may end up having to do it yourself.

Be sure to identify what kind of pest issues your new apartment faces. Treatment for rats or mice wildly differs from treatment for roaches, ants, and other insects.

How Long Do Apartment Inspections Take?

Apartment inspections can last from 15 minutes to an hour.

The duration depends on factors like the inspection list’s complexity, the unit’s size, and the process’s thoroughness.

Can You Say No To An Apartment Inspection?

Depending on your state’s tenant rights, you can say no to routine inspections.

The property manager will eventually need access to your apartment (they have the legal right), but it can be on your terms.

According to laws in most states, a landlord should give written notice before they come to inspect an apartment. So you’ll know if someone is coming to inspect the property.

Ensure you know the exact laws for the state where you’re living — some require a 24-hour notice, while others may only require “reasonable notice” from most landlords.

What If You Fail Your Apartment Inspection?

To avoid any issues as a renter, following lease terms closely when renting your property is better.

There can be various consequences if you fail an inspection. Most likely, your landlord could evict you. Secondly, you can also be fined for the repairs needed to the unit. In the worst cases, you may also lose your security deposit and any future referrals from your property manager.

If you are wondering about the conditions in which you can fail the inspection. Then, you can fail the inspection if you go against the lease terms. If you regularly smoke in your apartment, and this smell has seeped into the walls, you may also fail an inspection.

Moreover, keeping your apartment dirty, which leads to mold and unusual amounts of holes in walls, can also result in failing an inspection.

After the apartment inspections, it is up to your property manager to give you a second chance to make amendments and fix issues.

Maintain Your Living Standards With Apartment Inspections

In conclusion, understanding what an apartment inspection entails is essential for tenants and landlords. These inspections are valuable tools for ensuring the property’s upkeep and living standards and protecting all involved parties’ interests. 

Tenants benefit from safe and well-maintained living spaces. Landlords can identify issues early, preventing costly repairs and preserving the value of their investments.

Choose Elite Inspections for Unparalleled Expertise and Peace of Mind. Schedule Your Inspection Today to Protect Your Investment!