Apartment Move In Condition is the overall state of an apartment at the transition between leasing from one tenant to another. It is very important to carefully document the state of the dwelling before moving in, since a new tenant may be held liable for any damages that either occurred during their stay or assumed to have occurred during their stay, even if it was a pre-existing condition. If a landlord was unaware of the damage prior to your moving in and assumes that you caused the damage, the cost of repairs (beyond "normal wear and tear") may be deducted from your rental security deposit.
Tips for documenting move-in condition
- Don't move anything inside until you have looked over the entire apartment, at least once. Furniture or moving boxes may block problems on the floors or walls.
- Go through, room-by-room with a digital camera and a condition report sheet (like this one). Take photos liberally, of anything that might be relevant. It's likely that your landlord will give you a condition report sheet to return to the rental agency. If your apartment has a balcony, storage area or yard, be sure to check these areas as well.
- Turn all faucets/spigots, lights, and appliances on and off; make sure windows and doors lock/unlock; go around with a small lamp and plug it into each socket to make sure each socket receives power. Drapes and window treatments should be relatively clean.
- Hold on to your condition report for a few days after moving in, or write down any new problems that may arise and call your landlord to amend the condition report to include additional preexisting damage. Be sure to sign and submit it within a week, though.
Expectations and move-in stories
When you move into a new apartment, your apartment may be in good condition, or not so good condition. Often, some things need fixing. With moving day coming up, it would be useful for people to document the condition of their apartment, both by listing what is right and wrong, and by posting photos of the apartment. This will provide a guide as to what to really expect when you move into a particular apartment, and will encourage apartment managers to ensure that they provide high quality living spaces for their residents (many of whom do not see the apartment before move in day). When you post your experience, please list the name of the apartment, the apartment size, and your experiences and photos.