You should always thoroughly inspect the apartment you’re considering or are about to rent. Doing so will not only help you avoid hassles and big maintenance bills after you’ve moved in but can also make it easier for you to negotiate the rent and get everything repaired by your landlord beforehand. Whether you’re still in the process of shortlisting homes or have already selected one, be sure to follow this inspection checklist by ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading online marketplace for handyman services, before signing the tenancy contract.
1-Customization: speak now or forever hold your peace
You should consider all key features of the house and make sure they meet your exact requirements. It’s important to do so early on as many landlords put restrictions on customization of the house. For example, your tenancy contract may not allow you to change the color of paint, upgrade the design of your garden, or modify cabinets. If you make such changes after moving in without permission from the landlord, then you might have to change them back to their original state when you move out. Discuss customization tasks with your landlord before finalizing the rent agreement.
2-Start with the walls and floors
While it’s usually the landlord’s responsibility to repair damaged walls, floors, cabinets and the roof before giving you the keys, it’s still necessary for you to inspect them to make sure both you and your landlord are aware of the existing condition of the house. Your landlord might have missed some damaged areas while repairing the house. Since you’re supposed to return the home in its original condition when you move out, if you don’t highlight existing damages at the start, you may not get your full security deposit back. If you notice any cracks, holes, peeling paint or other structural damages, let your landlord know immediately and ask them to take care of it before you move in. You should also take pictures of the house before moving in to document the existing condition of the house to avoid potential disputes when you eventually move out.
3-Dampness, leaks and flooding hazards
Plumbing issues should never be ignored. Even a minor issue can quickly escalate and leave you with a flooded home, so be sure to call a maintenance company in Dubai as soon as you notice a problem. It’s important to replace pipes that are leaking, old or rusty as they can burst and flood your home. You should also watch out for leaks from water heaters and AC pipes. If you notice dampness in any of the walls, floors and ceilings, it could be because of a leakage, so get it checked by a professional to avoid further damage. It’s easier to inspect and catch such issues while the house is still empty. Leaky faucets can also cause mold and mildew, so make sure they’re fixed before the moving day. Flush every toilet and run water in all bathrooms and kitchens to ensure that none of the drains are clogged.
4-Electrical issues and other fire hazards
Besides causing inconvenience, electrical issues also pose serious risks such as electrocution and fires. If you see or hear sparking or notice the smell of burning plastic, immediately inform your landlord or call an electrician as it could be because of faulty wiring. You also need to make sure that all smoke alarms are in working order. Leakage from gas cookers is another fire hazard, so you should definitely check for it. Be sure to test all switches and power outlets, and if there aren’t enough in a room or you have any special requirements, then get all electrical work done before moving in.
5- Security really matters
Make sure that all doors and windows are secure. Check all locks to ensure that they work and note down the ones that need to be upgraded – don’t forget the balcony doors. Consider checking the locks and doors of all cabinets as well while you are at it.
6-Be wary of pest infestations
Nobody wants to deal with a pest infestation right after moving into a new home. Pests such as cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, ants and termites are common in the UAE, and can cause structural damage to your home, a variety of diseases, and even fires! What’s more, they can prove to be very resilient and more often than not you’d have to call a professional pest control service to tackle a big infestation. To avoid all this, be sure to watch out for signs like droppings, eggs, ant hills, and damage to wooden structures while walking through the house. It’s recommended that you should book a pest control service, even if you don’t see any signs.
7-Cooling/heating systems & other appliances
Even though it’s usually the landlords responsibility to ensure that the heating and cooling systems are in working order, do check them to avoid inconvenience after you’ve moved in. Make sure the thermostat is accurate and there is no leakage of water from the units, which can prove to be a serious problem. Check the filters to ensure that they’re not dirty or clogged as it can make the unit inefficient and increase your bills. If your apartment was furnished and included other appliances such as a refrigerator and washing machine, make sure they’re also in good condition. After all, if it was part of the rent agreement, you shouldn’t get anything less than what you signed up for.
8-Your tenancy contract!
Last but not the least, make sure you thoroughly read and understand the tenancy contract before signing it. You should know the notice period and all special conditions that were added by the landlord to it.
While it’s important to inspect your new home before moving in, it’s equally important to continue to do so while you’re living there to ensure that it remains in good condition.