Before you move into your rental, inspect it and record anything that is in need of repair, damaged, or hazardous with a check-in form. If you find something wrong with the rental and it is not on the check-in form, make a note of it. Ideally, your property manager should be present when you inspect the property. After the inspection is completed, ask your property manager to sign the checklist to ensure that you both agree to the outcome of the inspection. If the property manager is not available for move in, send them a copy of your findings. Furthermore, be sure you and your property manager are in agreement as to how the problems will be fixed. How these problems will be fixed should be listed in your lease.
Take video or photos during the inspection of your rental. The key is to take time-stamped pictures of everything. Take the same precautions when you move out of your rental to help prove your case regarding the condition you left your place in if it is challenged by your property manager. If you do not hear from your property manager within 30 days after you have moved out of the rental and have provided a forwarding address, (or if you gave a late notice of forwarding address, 15 days after you gave the address), or if you believe your security deposit is being unfairly withheld, email email@example.com.
You should receive a receipt for whatever deposits are paid. Getting a deposit back will be much easier if you keep your canceled check or receipt. Try to never pay in cash, it is harder to trace payments.
If your landlord requires a deposit, which almost all do, he or she must give you a summary statement of all damages initially existing in your apartment, including all housing code violations. You must then review the list, include any additional discrepancies, sign it, and return the list to your landlord . Your landlord cannot ask for more than two months worth of rent for your security deposit per the Connecticut Housing Law.
See Leasing Information for more on Security Deposits.
Ace Your Property Inspection
- Make an Appointment and Arrive on Time
Landlords usually do not appreciate perspective tenants arriving unannounced, and you want to be assured that you will be able to see the property when you get there. Also, verify the information with the landlord over the phone first.
- Be Presentable
Landlords want to rent to individuals who look as if they would make good tenants. Proper attire may improve your chances when there are several applicants. Treat your viewing like a job interview.
- Be Persistent
A prospective landlord may take your name and say he/she will get back to you after reviewing all applications. Check back and remind the landlord that you are still interested.
Start looking early, and give yourself at least a few weeks to find housing. The time in which students start looking for housing changes every year, depending on the market and the availability of housing for the next year. If you want a house for the following school year, it is advisable to start looking for available houses in the fall-winter of the year before. Landlords who usually rent to students may be willing to have you sign a lease in advance.
Use this checklist before you move in and to help with your move out.
Contact utility companies several weeks before you move in to ensure phone, cable, internet and electric will be turned on for your arrival date. If not, it may take several days before utility services are available in your rental.
See Renting Requirements for more on Utilities.
Health and Safety
If you have questions regarding the health and safety of your property, contact the local Housing Authority through the local Town Hall.
To report a complaint or concern about a public health nuisance or suspected Code violation, you can contact the local health district:
Eastern Highlands Health District
4 South Eagleville Rd, Mansfield, CT, 06268
If you are moving out of your rental, read about how to get your security deposit back and who to call about your utilities. Schedule a final walk-through with your landlord and go over any and all possible damages.
Remember to disconnect utilities when you move out.
See Renting Requirements for more on Utilities.
Before your final walk-through with your Property Manager/Landlord:
- Clean, clean, clean - make sure all trash is removed including in cupboards and refrigerator. Wipe down every room including the common area, bathroom(s), and your personal area. The cleaner the place, the easier the final inspections should be.
- Address all damages. Do not hide a damage that might become a dispute later when you are already gone. If you know of a damage, address it in person and see what your options are.
- Have all copies of all keys ready to be returned.
- Talk to your roommates. It is easier if you are all leaving at the same day/time. If someone is moving out later, be sure they are keeping the place clean and ready for inspections.
- You can offer a letter of thanks if it was a good experience. Chances are you will use them as a reference for future renal applications and it is best to leave on good terms.
Take notes, pictures and a video. If there is a disagreement, talk to your landlord about how to best address the issue and refer back to any move-in photos or documentation that you might have. It is important to go over everything with your landlord before handing in your keys. If your landlord does not offer this as an option, see if you can do a video walk-through with them or have one of their team members meet with you to review everything.
Make sure to provide your landlord with your forwarding address! Refer to Leasing Information for more on Security Deposits and/or if you have any questions about getting your money back. Your lease should have all of the information you need regarding moving out dates and expectations.