Moving In Tips

When moving into an apartment, follow these tips to prevent problems later.

  1. Perform the check-in inspection with the landlord present:

    A joint inspection of the apartment is required by law which makes you and the landlord immediately aware of any problems.

  2. Document the check-in process:

    Videotape or use a camera that displays the date on the picture to record any present damages when you move in. If you have proof of prior damage, the landlord can not make you pay for those damages.

    You should pay special attention to the following:

    • Number and location of nail holes in each wall;
    • Number and description of any stains, rips and worn places in carpets, curtains, furniture, etc.;
    • Scratches, dents, stains, or similar marks anywhere, on floors, walls, appliances, etc. Describe each mark. For example, note “6 inch scratch on lower left side of refrigerator”;
    • Cracks in plaster, chips in sink;
    • Dirt behind washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, toilet, etc.;
    • Grease build-up on stove vent hood and inside the oven;
    • The presence or absence of a fully charged fire extinguisher and operable smoke detectors (test the smoke detectors); and
    • Missing light bulbs, ice cube trays, curtains and curtain rods, screens, broiler pans, etc.; any that should be there and are not.

    Have a parent or a friend check out the apartment with you when you move in. Select someone who will be willing and available to go with you to court in the future to testify about the condition of the apartment when you moved in, should that become necessary.

    If you need additional check-in sheet(s), you can use the sample Move-In Inspection Checklist.

  3. If there are problems with the apartment:

    Contact the landlord immediately if there are any problems with the apartment or repairs to be made. You should send written notice to the landlord and keep a copy of the notice for your records. You may also contact Legal Services for Students at (785) 864-5665 or the City of Lawrence inspector at (785) 832-3111 for help. You can use the Sample Repair Notice to request repairs.

  4. Invest in renter’s insurance:

    Generally, landlords are not responsible for damage to your belongings, especially if the damage results from a fire or a water leak caused by another tenant.

    Renter’s insurance can be purchased for less than $150 per year. The cost depends on the value of your personal property.

THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT LANDLORD-TENANT ISSUES STUDENTS FREQUENTLY FACE. IF YOU HAVE A LEGAL PROBLEM OR A QUESTION, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY TO LEARN HOW THE LAW APPLIES TO YOUR SPECIFIC CASE. KU STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CALL LEGAL SERVICES FOR STUDENTS TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.


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