Bring a notebook and a pen with you. You will need to take notes on the spot to ensure that you later remember the details of each apartment or house you view. This is particularly useful if you are going to several places over a few days. Begin your note-taking of each apartment or house on a new page and write the address of the place you are viewing at the top of the page.
Be as detailed as possible about the size and layout of each apartment or house – for example, by taking note of the number of bedrooms and listing things you noticed and liked, or didn’t like, about each place.
Also, take note of any areas which may seem to be a "problem area", especially if it is mentioned by the landlord. If you do decide to rent the apartment or house later, you can always use this as a bargaining tool during negotiations to lower the asking price.
Bring a camera with you. This is to aid you in your note-taking. Begin each series of photographs with a shot of the front door, or of the exterior of the house or the apartment, so that you know where each series begins and ends.
It would be good if you can draw up a list of criteria. This is especially helpful if you are planning to split the rent with another flatmate, who may not have the same preferences as you do and who is unable to attend the rental viewings with you.
This list will also help you to keep track of your needs so that you will be less likely to fall for a property that is not what you are looking for, even if it puts up an exceptionally impressive viewing.
Try to sort your criteria into two categories: which features you think your rental home should have, and which features you would like your rental property to have. While the latter aren’t as important, they can serve as a bargaining tool during lease negotiations.
Check that the apartment or house you are viewing is structurally sound. You may not have to worry much about this aspect if you are renting an apartment, but it still wouldn’t hurt to be sure. If you notice any problems, such as cracks in the walls or the ceiling, bring it up with the landlord.
If you do decide to rent the property in spite of any potential problems you spotted during its viewing, ensure that the problems are rectified before you move in.
Check that everything is in good working condition. This includes water heating systems, air-conditioning units, light fixtures, doorknobs, shower heads and locks on the windows and doors. If something needs to be replaced, check with the landlord first, in case he or she has already made plans for it to be rectified.
Bring a tape measure with you, especially if you are only looking for a temporary rental property. You will need it to ensure that most of your furniture can fit into the apartment or house. This means that you will also need to make measurements of the furniture that you will be taking into your temporary home first.
Don’t just check out the property, check out the neighbourhood as well. You should take note of the people who live nearby, the proximity of certain amenities, such as clinics, grocery shops and markets, and the neighbourhood that the apartment or house is located in. If you think you will be comfortable living there, then be sure to keep that property in mind.