Guide for Your Apartment Tour | Catholic Charities Diocese of Madison

Guide for Your Apartment Tour

Housing Tips

In the chaos of trying to find an apartment, it can be tough to know what to look for during a walk through Sometimes you may only get a couple of minutes to tour a potential place, which can make it challenging to know what to check and what questions or concerns to ask a property manager. So how do you keep track? With our Guide for Your Apartment Tour, we’ve outlined what to take notice of and what questions to ask during your walkthrough.

The Kitchen:

In general, it’s good to check the kitchen thoroughly. Must insect and mold problems are going to come from the kitchen, so open cupboards and check under the sink. If you cook often often, pay extra attention to the appliances. Make sure that they work, and as when they were updated last. If you don’t think you’ll be cooking much, still double check for bugs and mold.

Things to look out for include:

  • The Tap Water
    • How is the pressure?
    • How quickly does it get hot?
    • How does it look/ smell
    • open the under the sink. Is there any mold? dampness?
  • Look Over The Appliances
    • Open the refrigerator and check that it’s cold
    • Open the oven and microwave to see if they’ve been cleaned
    • Ask when they were last updated
  • The Floors
    • Check around the edges that there’s no visible mold.
    • Note and discoloration or damage that’s already there.

The Bathroom:

So many things can go wrong in a bathroom. Be thorough when looking it over. Open every cupboard and turn on every faucet. Bathroom woes are often a stinky mess.
Things to check

  • The Sink
    • what is the water pressure like?
    • how well does it drain?
    • is the water clear?
    • When you turn the faucet off, does it leak? (that could cost you money over time)
  • The Toilet
    • Does it flush?
    • How quickly does it refill?
    • Is there any leaking?
  • The Shower/ Bath
    • How is the water pressure?
    • How quickly does the water heat up?
    • If there’s a shower head as well as a faucet, does it switch between the two easily?
    • When you turn it off does it leak?
    • Looking around the tub where it meets the floor are there any signs of mold?


Everyone has the right to be safe in their apartment. Below are some questions to ask, and things to inspect as you tour your apartment.

  • Take a good look at smoke detectors, sprinklers and carbon-monoxide detectors.
    • Are they in good working condition?
    • Ask when was the latest inspection on these safety devices.
  • Does the kitchen include a fire extinguisher or fire blanket?
  • How secure are the locks? When was the last time they changed them?
  • When was the last time they had the place inspected for mold?
  • How is access to the building handled?
  • Who else will have a key to the apartment?

Setting up:

  • Where is the connection for cable hookup, and will the position work for your living room setup?
  • What is the process for emergency maintenance requests?
  • Is there space for storing other items such as bikes?
  • How much is the security deposit?
  • Are pets allowed?
    • If so, is there a pet fee or pet deposit?
  • Are utilities included in rent? if not, about how much do they run a month?
  • What is their guest policy?
  • How are repair requests handled?


  • Is there off street parking available?
  • Where is the nearest bus stop?


  • Note the condition of the floors and the carpet.
  • Check along the edges for the condition of the running boards, inspecting nooks and crannies along the way.
  • Where is the circuit breaker located? Is it easily accessible in case of outages?

After the Walkthrough

Discuss any lingering concerns you may have with the landlord or agent. If you are unsure if the property will fit your needs, don’t be pressured into anything. Think it over, but don’t take too long. Some apartment buildings have limited openings, and sitting on a decision too long may result in you missing out.

Recent Housing Tips

Common Question on the HUD – VASH Program

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).