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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA MOVING & RENTERS CHECKLIST

San Francisco Bay Area Movers

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San Francisco Bay Area Renters Checklist

Inspection Guide to Consider Before You Rent
When viewing a rental unit, be prepared to inspect for problems or damages. Take note of how well the property has been cared for and how the landlord or owner showing you the unit responds to your questions, concerns or requirements. Laws require landlords to repair some problems, however, if the repairs needed are not required by law, it is up to you to reach an agreement with the landlord before renting the unit. Write a description of all problems that exist before you move in and ask the landlord to sign an agreement that all or certain problems will be corrected by an agreed upon date. This procedure will help to avoid disagreements about your responsibility for pre-existing problems. It will also reduce disputes over the landlord using your security deposit to repair pre-existing problems.

The following checklist includes some potential problems or conditions worth inspecting when viewing a rental unit:

Wear & Tear
  • Carpet - new, cleaned, worn, or soiled? Check base boards for gouges
  • Condition of kitchen appliances - freezer, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave
  • Scratches, stains, or damages to hardwood floors
  • Cracked or dirty tiles in kitchen or bath
  • Look for holes / cracks in walls and ceiling
  • If furnished, inspect furniture for rips, tears and other wear
  • Check window or door screens for tears
  • Take photos of any flaws or irregularities in the unit before you move in, and keep the photos with your lease.
Plumbing
  • Look for signs of leaks under sinks
  • Look for leaks in bathroom or kitchen fixtures or indications of rust in taps
  • Check for good water pressure in sinks, toilets,and showers.
Maintenance
  • Ask about maintenance, is there an on-site manager?
  • Who is responsible for maintenance of hallways, entries, yard, garden or surrounding property?
Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Check for working heating and / or air cooling conditions. Is there adequate ventilation?
  • Check pilot lights / gas from heater or stove controls
  • Check water heater- gas or electric?
Lighting & Electrical
  • Number of electrical outlets / grounded plugs
  • Accessible lighting inside and outside entrance
Safety
  • Accessible fire extinguishers and smoke alarms
  • Location of exits clearly marked in case of fire
  • Check for windows painted shut and working hinges
  • Adequate security system at all entrances
  • Sufficient locks on windows and doors
  • Effective doorbells and intercoms
  • Look for signs of rodents, vermin or insects
  • What year was building constructed?
    If before 1978 has lead paint been removed?
    Has asbestos been removed?
Questions to Ask Your Landlord
  • When is the rent due?
  • Are pets accepted? If so, what is the Pet Policy?
  • Ask about interest on your deposit. Simple interest must be paid according to state law.
  • What miscellaneous costs or expenses is the tenant responsible for (water, garbage, electric, etc.)?.
Amenities
  • Sufficient closet space for the number of occupants
  • Sufficient shelving in kitchen and bath
  • Sound insulation between you and neighbors, and traffic outside
  • Laundry facilities availability
  • Parking availability
  • Additional storage space availability
  • Adequate drapes, blinds, screens

Download a PDF version of this checklist

San Francisco Bay Area Moving Tips

Notify these companies to discontinue service at your old address and
establish at your new residence:

gas
water
electric
garbage
local and long-distance telephone
cable TV service
internet service provider

See our Important Phone Numbers page for the appropriate company contact information.

Let the Post Office know:
Obtain a change-of-address packet at any post office, which will include a mail-forwarding card, or enter your information online. Your mail will be forwarded for approximately one month.

Obtain necessary records from:
Your dentist, doctor, pharmacy and school. (For prescriptions, eyeglasses, X-ray, birth certificate, medical history, transcripts).

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions:
Periodicals sometimes take up to a month to adjust their records.

Bank Accounts:
Arrange, transfer if necessary, loan payment schedules. Notify your credit card companies.

Change records:
Driver's license, vehicle registration, voter registration and insurance

Parking in your new neighborhood:
Obtain neighborhood parking permit at City Hall (More about parking).

Begin your search as early as possible using RentalGuide.com:
Once you arrive, if you are without your computer, continue to access our website from the public library or an internet cafe.