If you are in the market to rent an apartment, you may want to see the exact apartment you intend to rent. However, the management company may not be able to show you the exact apartment as better apartment complexes have enjoyed very high occupancy rates in recent years.
While you can and certainly should ask, most highly sought-after apartment complexes will have an existing resident in the unit you want to rent (occupied). If there are lots of available (vacant) units for you to look at, that might be a sign of a less desirable apartment complex. See Red Flags of Apartment.
Is it Okay to Ask to See the Exact Apartment?
Of course, it is well within your rights to inquire about viewing the exact unit. That said, it’s not always possible for the landlord or building manager to accommodate your request.
What Should I Do If I Can’t See the Exact Apartment?
If you’re not able to see the exact unit, ask to see a model apartment, and a floor plan of the apartment that is available, as well as, a site location plan (see below for more on this). Make sure you have explained any differences between the model and the floor plan of the available apartment.
Other Things to See at an Apartment Viewing
In addition to your desire to see the apartment unit, there are several other things to check before you sign the lease, including:
Check Out the Community’s Layout
Ask to see a layout or community map/site plan so you can pinpoint the location of your potential apartment. Make sure you understand the views from the apartment in question, parking access, lighting, and location within the building (including the floor and distance from stairwells). This helps you identify any possible inconveniences, such as proximity to noisy roads.
Thoroughly Inspect the Model Apartment
Whether you’re viewing the actual apartment itself or a model apartment, give it a thorough review. Check for damages, inquire about maintenance procedures, and ensure that the apartments appear to be well cared for.
Tour the Complex
A stroll around the property should provide further insight into its maintenance and amenities. Is there a lot of trash outside? Are the grounds and shrubbery well maintained? Do the buildings appear to be in good condition?
Investigate the Surrounding Community
Research the area surrounding the complex. Look into nearby amenities, crime statistics, proximity to major roads and highways, parks, and public transportation to ensure it’s a desirable and accessible area.
Check the Reviews and Reputation
While going to tour yourself is important, it’s also important to ask around about the reputation of the complex. Check online reviews from multiple sources. Ask your friends and family.