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Before Signing Your Lease, Check Your Rental House for These Issues

You’re pretty set on a rental house. It’s in a great city with a great school district, it has all of the outdoor space you could want, and you like your landlord. Even if you’ve looked the rental house over before, though, there might be a few things you missed. Before you sign your lease, you’ll want to check over a few specific things to make sure the house is up to snuff. Here’s our handy list of things to look out for:

Check All Appliances

Sometimes, you settle into your new home just to find that the dishwasher doesn’t work–or the oven, or the refrigerator. In order to avoid this problem, make sure that you check the appliances before you sign the lease for your rental house. Make sure the refrigerator runs, switch the oven on and off, run the garbage disposal, and check out the washer/dryer and dishwasher. If one or more of them don’t work, tell the landlord. Be sure to ask them if and when they plan to fix or replace them. 

Test the Outlets

You’ll also want to check the outlets in your rental house to make sure they work. The last thing you want to have to deal with is dead outlets all over your house. It’s not obvious when they stop working, so it’s possible that an outlet could malfunction without your landlord even noticing. Bringing a phone charger can be an easy way to check if an outlet is working correctly. Just plug your phone in and see if it begins to charge. If an outlet doesn’t seem to work, bring it up with your landlord. Ask if and when they plan to get it fixed.

Close and Open Doors and Windows

Doors and windows could easily become sticky or even unhinged. Make sure that all of the doors and windows in your rental house are functioning properly. You don’t want a window or a door stuck open in the winter! If you note any problems, be sure to bring them up with your landlord so that they can fix them before you move in.

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Test Toilets, Sinks, and Showers

Give the toilet a good flush and run the sinks and showers to make sure that they work. The last thing you want is a toilet that doesn’t flush properly. You might want to discuss what the pipe system is like with your landlord––is it old? Will you have problems with frozen pipes? And as always, if you find something that doesn’t work, you should definitely bring it up––plumbing is something you won’t want to worry about upon moving in.

Beware of Mold

Keep an eye out for mold while you’re inspecting the rental house. You’ll want to carefully inspect shower curtains, the insides of washers, the kitchen counter, the sink area, and the corners of bathrooms. Getting rid of mold can be expensive and time-consuming, so you want to make sure that the landlord is alert to any potential problems and will be on top of them before you sign your lease.

Don’t Fall for Air Fresheners

If the air is unnaturally scented, you might not think much of it, or you might even think that it’s nice. Be careful, though! You’ll want to make sure that no one is trying to cover up a potentially bad smell. A musty odor could be due to mold, or maybe there’s a lingering pet odor from the person before you. If you catch a whiff of something unpleasant, don’t ignore it. Talk to your landlord about potential sources and make sure the problem gets solved. This is your home, after all.

We hope this list of tips comes in handy as you look for your dream rental home. Be smart and careful, and everything will be okay. Best of luck to you on your search!

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