Are you about to go apartment viewing? This very exciting step is critical before you sign the lease. It helps you gauge how well the apartment could fit your lifestyle.
In Chicago, apartment tours may happen when the apartment is empty or when someone still lives there. When you view an occupied apartment, you’re still in somebody else’s home. So, how do you behave?
This apartment viewing etiquette guide will show you how to behave at a viewing to stay polite, respectful and avoid potential embarrassment.
8 Basic Apartment Viewing Etiquette Rules
These apartment viewing etiquette rules aren’t written in stone. However, following them will make the apartment viewing process comfortable for both you and the current tenant. If you want to rent your dream apartment, it’s best to make a good first impression on your future landlord as well.
1. Schedule an Apartment Viewing Appointment
When following apartment viewing etiquette, first schedule an appointment. Usually, the leasing agent or the landlord is in charge of this. Set a time that’s convenient for you, and notify the agent or landlord in advance. In Chicago, landlords must give tenants at least 48 hours notice before visiting, so scheduling ahead of time is important.
Respecting the landlord’s and current tenants’ time is very important. Scheduling an appointment allows the current tenant and leasing agent or landlord time to prepare for your arrival. This makes the appointment run smoother, and everyone feels more comfortable.
2. Prepare Your Questions in Advance
Of course, you’ll have a million questions about the place. Are pets allowed? Is there a parking space near the apartment? What bills do I have to pay? These are all valid questions to ask at the viewing.
But, if you have any crucial questions that you know you’ll want to ask, make sure you note them down somewhere. Being well-organized will help whoever’s taking you around, and it will save you time.
That being said, ask impromptu questions as you’re viewing the apartment. “This door wasn’t on the floorplan–does it lead anywhere? Is the slow-cooker on the balcony included in the rent? Did I just see Snoop Dogg outside?”
3. Bring Your Roommates
If you’re planning to move in with roommates, bring them along to the viewing. They’re probably just as interested in the space they’re moving to. Leaving them out of the viewing would be rude and can result in conflicts later on.
If your future roommates are joining the tour, make sure you notify the leasing agent or landlord in advance. It’s not a major issue if you show up with an unexpected guest, but it would be more polite if you didn’t.
After all, none of the rules in this apartment viewing etiquette guide are written in stone.
4. Arrive On Time
This is a very important apartment viewing etiquette tip. Make sure you don’t arrive late to the viewing you requested and are organized. This is how you make sure you respect the agent’s time.
It’s ideal to arrive right on time. If you arrive early, be patient with the leasing agent or landlord. They may have prior appointments that they are coming from.
If you’re running late despite your best efforts, make sure you notify whoever’s showing you the apartment. A quick call to let them know that you’re stuck in traffic can reassure them that you didn’t stand them up.
5. Respect the Rules of the Tenant
Unless the apartment is empty, it’s important to remember that you’re in someone else’s home. Respecting the tenant’s requests is essential in apartment viewing etiquette. For example, they may ask you to take your shoes off.
Complying with their requests is best for you, the agent, and the tenant.
6. Don’t Touch Anything
Holding the door open for the agent is polite and completely acceptable in the apartment viewing etiquette. Reading through the tenant’s unattended diary, however, is pretty rude. In short, just avoid touching anything you wouldn’t want a stranger to touch in your own house.
No matter how fluffy their plush toy looks, or how yummy the food cooking on the stove smells, it’s not yours to squeeze or taste. This apartment viewing etiquette rule applies whether the tenant is present or not at the viewing.
Whether they ask or not, refrain from touching any items in the apartment without permission. When in doubt, ask the leasing agent or landlord to turn on lights, open doors, and so on.
7. Don’t Stay Too Long
Of course, you have every right to check every aspect of the apartment at the viewing. Ask as many questions as you need to make sure that the space is right for you. But don’t overstay your welcome. An apartment viewing in one apartment takes about 15 minutes maximum.
No matter how much you love the space, you need to rent it first before you can enjoy unlimited time. After you’re satisfied with your knowledge about the apartment, thank the agent, landlord, or tenant, and leave promptly.
8. Follow Up With the Agent or Landlord
This apartment viewing etiquette guide doesn’t end when you step out the door. If you truly want to be polite, you should check in with the agent or landlord after the viewing. A quick email or text to thank them will go a long way in appreciating their time and effort.
Think about your viewing. List the pros and cons of the place, and make your decision. Is this apartment ideal for you, or will you keep looking? Letting whoever showed you the place know about your decision is a nice courtesy.
It’s not an etiquette rule, but even if you didn’t like the place, it’s nice to politely let the landlord or leasing agent know. In some cases, they may know other apartments that better fit what you’re looking for.
Apartment Renting Etiquette Made Easy
While there are several apartment viewing etiquette rules, there aren’t many for apartment renting in general. Still, everyone wants to make sure finding a new home is as easy as possible. There’s no easier platform for finding apartments to rent in Chicago than Brixbid.
Our platform takes you through the apartment renting process from browsing to signing the lease. Find apartments that you like in our listings, schedule a viewing, and make an offer for the apartment you like.
After, you will conduct a safe credit check and sign the lease all from Brixbid’s easy platform. It really is that easy.
Ready to find and rent your dream home in Chicago? Get started with Brixbid today!