What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?

Before moving, make sure that the apartment building is licensed with the City of Trenton by calling 609-989-3563. If there is a sticker, the landlord is required to provide a clean, habitable living unit. Be sure to check to make sure that the apartment meets the renter's needs as well as the conditions in the following locations:

  • Basement - Look for dirt, trash, leaks (or evidence of leaks), loose wires, broken windows, crumbling walls, and termites.
  • Bathroom - Check the water pressure, for hot and cold water, and look for leaks. Make sure that the toilet works. Check for loose tiles on the walls and floor, and check for evidence of infestation.
  • Ceiling - Check the ceiling and walls for water leak stains, dampness, loose plaster, holes, or cracks.
  • Doors - Check for dead-bolt locks on the entrance door and ensure that they are weather tight.
  • Electricity - Make sure that the light switches and fixtures work. There should be covers on all outlets and light switches. Take a lamp and try all of the outlets, and look for hanging or open wires. It is sometimes not possible to check the working condition of electrical switches and outlets since the power may have been shut off in the apartment.
  • Floors - Look for rotten wood, loose tiles, splinters, and water stains.
  • Heat - Turn on the heating system and make sure that it works properly, even if you rent in the summer. Ask about the last time that the heating unit was serviced.
  • Kitchen - Check the water pressure, for hot and cold water, and for leaks. There should be a stove and refrigerator properly connected to the appropriate utility; check for evidence of infestation.
  • Paint - Look in all rooms to make sure paint is fresh; make sure that walls are smooth and able to be cleaned.
  • Smoke detectors - Check for installation on all levels and make sure they work properly.
  • Windows - Check the locks, screens, glass, and frames and weatherproofing.

Show All Answers

1. Are tenants responsible for providing their own Smoke Detectors or Carbon Monoxide Detector in rental properties?
2. Before moving into a rental property, should an inspection be completed?
3. How does one license a rental property?
4. How is a landlord notified that there is a violation?
5. Must a landlord be licensed in order to rent a property?
6. What are a tenant’s responsibilities?
7. What happens if a landlord does not do the required work?
8. What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?
9. Who is responsible for heat and utilities?