What Happens If You Don't Pass An Apartment Inspection

Very few events cause more stress than an apartment inspection. Whether you're hoping to renew your lease or trying to get your deposit back upon moving out, there's a lot riding on a successful apartment inspection. So knowing what to expect and how to pass would be helpful. For example, the Aquarius Property Management blog counts consistent cleanliness as an important tactic for acing the inspection. 

This practice shows the property manager that he or she won't have to deal with extensive, deep cleaning after you move out. Furthermore, the manager will also look for any signs of breaching the lease, such as pet hair (if pets were not allowed) and tobacco odor (if smoking wasn't allowed indoors). Any additional items on the list would include broken appliances (not from normal wear), broken windows or walls, and damaged flooring.

Most importantly, you should know what happens if you don't pass an apartment inspection.

Consequences of not passing an apartment inspection

Not passing the apartment inspection could negatively affect your search for another place to rent. At the very least, you may not gain a recommendation from the property owner or manager. Since most places require information about your previous rental history, this could get you off to a bad start with the prospective new rental situation, or you could be bumped off the list of candidates.

Also, if you don't leave the previous place in stellar condition, as noted on The Connection website, you might forfeit part or all of your security deposit depending on the extent and cost of repairs and cleaning that are needed after you move out. Thus, if you were looking forward to getting your deposit back and being able to apply that money toward obtaining a new apartment, that prospect goes out the door. So, you'll need to start all over again by saving enough to pay for the deposit and the first month's rent in the new place.

However, if you were planning on renewing the lease but still have to undergo the inspection, then not passing could result in the owner denying the renewal, especially if you breached the contract.

How to pass an apartment inspection

Fortunately, this conundrum can be avoided per recommendations on the Aquarius Property Management blog. First off, make sure you abide by the conditions of the lease and ask questions before signing to ensure you understand each item and are willing and able to live with those conditions. Along with pets and smoking indoors, there might be other matters in the lease that you're responsible for, such as lawn care, if applicable, and being allowed to paint the place in a color of your choice -– while returning the walls back to the original tone.

Secondly, you should make a list of any issues immediately upon moving in, like a crack in a window, for instance, or if the refrigerator provided has stains anywhere. Letting your property manager know upfront about these types of imperfections that were already there when you moved in will protect you from having to pay for them if the manager doesn't rectify them.

Finally, regular cleaning and maintenance (that is not the manager's responsibility) go a long way in preventing permanent stains on the floor, walls, tub, and so on. For instance, if you have any spills, you'll need to wipe them up immediately to prevent discoloration, mold, or any other damage to the floor. Also, you will need to cover any holes in the walls from hanging artwork with spackle. Taking small steps on a daily and weekly basis will guarantee that you'll pass your apartment inspection.