Why inspect an apartment before you sign that Lease?
Lately, we have been performing more Apartment Pre-Lease Inspections - almost twice as many as we have in previous years.
What is a pre-lease inspection?
We check the apartment, it's plumbing, electrical, kitchens, baths and related exterior and common areas - as well as storage spaces -- for any issues or hazards which could impact the tenant.
Most often - (about 70% of the time) we discover potential shock, fire, or tripping/falling hazards -- even in "fully remodelled" and occasionally "new" rental units.
Quite a few Pre-Lease Inspections we perform have older, outdated and undersized electrical services. Ungrounded knob-and-tube wiring is a potential fire hazard (it heats up during use) and can damage tenant's equipment due to voltage drops in the wiring. (when knob and tube heats up during use, voltage is converted to heat - resulting in low voltages which can damage equipment) Minimal installed electrical outlets can lead to tenants using "extension cord wiring" - and the fire hazards it can pose. Missing GFCI and AFCI (anti-shock and Anti-fire circuits) protection could place tenants at greater risks of injury or loss.
What should I do to check on the unit BEFORE getting a Pre-Lease Inspection?
Be sure there is an occupancy permit. No unit is ALLOWED to be occupied or rented without one. You can find these in the local municipal Building Department.
Let your attorney check the lease agreement. Only lawyers can fully check any contract and advise you on what the contract means to you - there are MANY real estate attorneys out there.
Check the building/area during "off hours". You would be amazed at how many neighborhoods/areas appear to be the "American Dream" during the day, but change drastically "when the sun goes down". A lease is a long term commitment -- be sure it's in an area you WANT to commit to...
Check for restrictions placed on your unit in your lease (Your real estate attorney can help with this -- we once saw a lease that restricted wall and rug colors to Pink... and another that prohibited having any guests in the unit...)
Leasing a rental unit can be a risk... And having a Pre-Lease Inspection can help to lessen (or spell out) that risk. Since most lease agreements involve a serious monetary commitment - Anyone about to enter into a Lease agreement would be wise to have the unit Inspected to help protect their Health, Safety, and Finances.
For more information, or to schedule an inspection: 781-334-3830 or firstname.lastname@example.org