When you’re walking through an apartment and thinking Can I live here? it’s easy to let your emotions make your decision. It’s easy to be distracted and not notice the details, and you might rush into a bad relationship. My Ma always said Rent in haste, repent at leisure.
RDNY.com offers this checklist to point out some clues that could help you decide if the landlord and you will be happy together.
1. Is the apartment in move-in condition: newly painted, clean? You want to do business with a landlord who cares about making a good first impression.
2. Turn on the major appliances to make sure they work: the a/c, stove, oven, dishwasher. You don’t want to fight with your landlord over a broken appliance when you move in.
3. Check the refrigerator and make sure it’s clean and smells fresh. If the electricity has been turned off, the door should be propped open to kept the inside from getting funky.
4. Turn on the kitchen and bathroom taps and test how long it takes the water to get hot. This will tell you how efficient the water heater is, and how long you’ll have to wait in the shower for hot water.
Click here to read tips 5 – 8.
5. Check around the pipes to make sure there aren’t any gaps between the pipes and the wall and floors. You don’t want rodents or roaches to get into your home.
6. Don’t worry about water stains in the bathtub. NYC’s water has a lot of minerals that leave stains on ceramic. But you should worry about water stains on the ceiling or floorboards – that’s a warning sign that there’s a leak somewhere that hasn’t been fixed. You don’t want a landlord who doesn’t maintain his/her building.
7. Make sure the smoke detector is working – it should have a red light to show there’s a battery inside. You want a landlord who pays attention to details like batteries in the smoke alarm.
8. Ask the landlord what kind of changes you can make: Can you re-paint with different colors? Can you add fixtures? Will you get a rent rebate if you make upgrades to the appliances? I have a friend who always buys a new oven when she moves into an apartment. She’s bought and left 4 ovens since I’ve known her. Her landlords love her. (That’s Ashtar in the photo. She was my roommate’s pet when I lived in the East Village. This is not the same friend who buys new ovens when she moves. See my post about The Flight of the Conchords/East Village to see more of Ashtar.)
Yikes. Dogs in the dishwasher, cats in the oven.
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