When you finally find the right apartment and sign a lease, you cannot wait to move in. But before you do, you need to go through a process called a walk-through. This is an appointment during which both you and the landlord will walk through the apartment together. The point of the appointment is to make sure everything is safe, point out things that need fixing, and make note of damage that's already been done so you don't get blamed for it later. Here are five specific things you should look for during your walk-through.

Signs of Pests

Open cupboards and peak along windowsills for any signs of insects or rodents. If these creatures have come in to visit while the apartment was empty, you'll want to ask your landlord to call an exterminator or treat the apartment so they don't continue to be an issue.

The Thermostat

While the landlord is present during the walk-through, take a look at the thermostat and make sure you can figure out how it works. Make sure the heat turns on when you turn the temperature up. (Or if it is summer, test the air conditioner by turning the temperature down a few degrees.)


Try plugging things in to each of the outlets to make sure they work. You don't want to find out that the outlet next to your bed does not work when you go to plug your phone in, or that the outlet on the counter won't power your microwave. Also make sure that all of the outlets in the bathroom and kitchen have GCFIs. (This is the type of outlet that protects against shocks and has a reset button). GCFIs are an important safety issue, so your landlord should put them in place if they are missing.

Smoke and CO Detectors

Make sure that there is a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the apartment. Push the button to test both -- or have your landlord do so. Ask your landlord who is responsible for replacing the batteries when they fail.


Make sure all of the doors and windows lock securely. Ask the landlord whether they changed the locks after the old tenant moved out. If they have not changed the locks, request that they did this. Even if the tenant gave their keys back, they could have friends that still have copies. Replacing the locks will keep you safer.