Find Your Perfect Rental: Expert Tips on What to Look for When Touring a House

Find Your Perfect Rental: Expert Tips on What to Look for When Touring a House

Touring a house for rent is crucial to finding the right home. Evaluate the property’s condition, amenities, and suitability with this essential guide.

Marcio VasconcelosMarcio Vasconcelos

Published on June 10, 2024

Touring a house for rent is a critical step in finding the right home. It allows you to evaluate the property’s condition, amenities, and suitability for your needs. A thorough inspection can help you avoid future issues and ensure that the house meets your expectations. Given its importance, here’s a simple yet effective guide on what to look for and questions to ask when touring a rental house.

Preparing for the Tour

Research the Property and Area

Before the tour, research the property and its surrounding area. Check online reviews, local crime rates, and proximity to essential services like grocery stores, public transportation, and schools. This initial research can provide valuable context for your visit and help you ask informed questions.

Bring a Checklist

Having a checklist ensures you don’t miss any critical details during the tour. Include items related to the property's condition, amenities, safety features, and lease terms.

Exterior Inspection

General Condition

Evaluate the overall condition of the exterior. Look for signs of damage or neglect, such as peeling paint, broken windows, or damaged siding. The state of the exterior can give you an indication of how well the property is maintained.

Yard and Landscaping

Check the condition of the yard and landscaping. Ensure that the yard is well-kept and free from debris. If you enjoy outdoor activities, consider the size and usability of the yard.


Assess the parking situation. Verify if there is enough space for your vehicles and any guests you might have. If the property has a garage, check its size and functionality.

Interior Inspection

Interior Inspection
Image: Canva / RDNE Stock project

General Cleanliness and Condition

Upon entering, take note of the overall cleanliness and condition of the interior. Look for signs of recent repairs or ongoing maintenance issues. A clean, well-maintained interior is a good sign that the landlord takes care of the property.

Walls, Floors, and Ceilings

Inspect the walls, floors, and ceilings for any cracks, stains, or signs of water damage. Pay attention to any uneven floors or sagging ceilings, which could indicate structural problems. Look behind furniture and in corners for hidden issues.

Windows and Doors

Check that all windows and doors open and close properly. Ensure that locks are functional and windows provide adequate insulation. Properly sealed windows and doors are crucial for energy efficiency and security.

Lighting and Electrical Outlets

Verify that all light fixtures work and there are enough electrical outlets in each room. Test the outlets to ensure they are functional and consider their placement for your needs. Check for any exposed wiring or electrical hazards.


When inspecting plumbing, it’s essential to ensure everything works correctly to avoid future headaches. Turn on faucets in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry rooms. Check the water pressure and temperature response. Flush toilets to ensure they are in proper working order. Look under sinks for leaks or signs of water damage, and check for mold or mildew around fixtures.


Evaluate the condition of kitchen appliances, cabinets, and countertops. Open and close drawers and cupboards to ensure they function properly. Check the stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher for cleanliness and operation. Ensure that all appliances are in good working condition.


Inspect the bathrooms for cleanliness and functionality. Check for mold or mildew, especially around showers and tubs. Ensure that all fixtures, such as sinks, toilets, and showers, are in good working order. Test the water pressure and temperature in the shower and sinks.


Look for adequate storage space, including closets, cabinets, and any additional storage areas. Ensure there is enough room to store your belongings comfortably. Consider if the storage solutions fit your needs and lifestyle.

Safety Features


Evaluate the security features of the property. Check for working locks on all doors and windows, and see if there is a security system in place. Consider the safety of the neighborhood as well. Ensure that the property has adequate exterior lighting.

Fire Safety

Look for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the property. Verify their placement and test their functionality. Ensure there are fire extinguishers and that fire exits are accessible. Check for fire escape plans in multi-story buildings.

Utilities and Systems

Heating and Cooling

Check the heating and cooling systems to ensure they are functional. Ask about the age of the systems and when they were last serviced. A well-maintained HVAC system is crucial for comfort and energy efficiency.

Water Heater

Inquire about the water heater's capacity and age. Ensure it provides enough hot water for your needs. Check for any signs of leaks or issues.

Internet and Cable

Confirm the availability of high-speed internet and cable connections. Ask about the providers available in the area. Reliable internet service is essential for work and entertainment.

Lease Terms and Policies

Lease Duration

Ask about the preferred lease duration and any flexibility regarding the lease term. Ensure it aligns with your plans. Discuss the renewal process and any penalties for breaking the lease early.

Rent and Deposits

Clarify the monthly rent, security deposit, and any additional fees. Ask about the process for returning the security deposit and any conditions that might affect its return. Ensure you understand all financial obligations.

Maintenance and Repairs

Understand the maintenance and repair policies. Ask who is responsible for what and how to report issues. Ensure you know the typical response time for maintenance requests. Knowing who to contact for emergencies is crucial.

Rules and Regulations

Review the rules and regulations of the property. Ask about policies regarding pets, guests, noise, and any modifications you might want to make. Ensure the property rules align with your lifestyle.

Learn more:
Is It Better to Rent or Buy a House? Uncover Key Advantages and Disadvantages

The Bottom Line

Touring a house for rent is a vital step in ensuring you find a suitable and well-maintained property. By being thorough and asking the right questions, you can avoid potential issues and ensure that the house meets your needs and expectations. Remember to take notes and photos during the tour to help you compare properties later. This approach will help you make an informed decision and find the perfect rental home.

Latest Posts

See All