It's an exciting day - the beginning of your lease in your new home in Philadelphia. You are looking forward to the time you'll be spending studying, working and living in your new room, apartment or house. But in the rush of moving, unloading, and unpacking, don't forget that there is more you need to do once the last piece of furniture is off the truck. These move-in tips are really essential to a more positive living experience down the road!
- Document the condition of the apartment at move-in time!
Take detailed pictures of your apartment. It will help you request repairs and protect your security deposit. Digital cameras often have a date stamp option, but if you are using a non-digital camera, you may want to place the day's newspaper in the picture, to be able to date it.
- Fill out a Move-In/Move-Out Checklist (pdf). Keep a copy for yourself and send a copy to your landlord. If the place is a mess, document it. If the place is dirty, document it. If appliances are not working properly, report all these problems to your landlord in writing.
- Request repairs in writing, always giving a timeframe for response, so that you know when you can take the next step. Read more about what to do when repairs are needed.
- If you have not already done so, evaluate the safety of your building using our Safety Score Checklist (pdf)
- Since bed bugs have made a comeback in the last couple of years, be cautious if you purchase used furniture, especially bed frames and mattresses. Contact your landlord immediately if you detect the presence of bed bugs in your apartment/house. For more information see our bed bug brochure (pdf).
- Obtain renter's insurance. In the case of fire, water damage, or theft, your belongings are NOT covered under your landlord's insurance.
- Be a good neighbor: learn about living in the community.
- Educate yourself: see our 7 Simple Rules for a Better Renting Experience (pdf) and other information on the OCS website under Renting Step by Step and Landlord Tenant 101.
- As a general rule, take pictures, write letters and follow up with your landlord. Don't let your landlord tell you that all you can expect in this area is a substandard place. A lease is a contract. You are paying good money and you need to get something decent in return. A safe and habitable place is the law. If you have questions or need assistance, call the Office of Off-Campus Services at 215-898-8500.
Last modified: 2011-12-20 14:13:55