Does an Apartment Condo Need an Inspection?

Without a doubt, a property is a big investment that impacts your entire life. Whether buying the apartment or simply renting the condominium, you are spending your hard-earned money on a place to live.

Your home is more than simply a place to sleep and store your belongings. It is your sanctuary, the place where you can relax and recharge, where you spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy your hobbies.

So, you have decided to buy or rent an apartment condo and you are asking: “Do I need to hire someone to conduct a professional inspection of my smaller property? Don’t apartment blocks have a board that is responsible for building maintenance?”

The short answer is: Do the inspection! Here’s why:

Property Inspector for an Apartment Condo

The property boom

Apartments and condos have become a popular and more affordable option for living space and, as a result, are being built in high volumes. Corners are sometimes cut in order to finish the job quicker to start selling or renting out these apartments.

You want to have peace of mind when investing in a place to live. The investors who commission the building of the apartments will usually hire a home inspector to check that the construction process was carried out correctly and the building is safe to live in.

Before signing a lease or taking ownership of your new apartment, request a copy of the inspector’s report. If you are unable to retrieve one, hire an inspector for yourself. As the saying goes: “better safe than sorry.”

Why not just a walkthrough inspection?

A walkthrough inspection conducted by yourself should always be done to check for any small issues present in the apartment, things like leaking faucets, chipped paint, or visible water damage. These issues should be taken up with the building management or renting agent before you move into the apartment.

However, how do you tell if there are any electrical faults, or structural damage, that may only become apparent months after you move in? Hire a professional to check these things for you in addition to a walkthrough inspection. You may just discover a faulty smoke detector or a leaking pipe that is almost ready to burst.

What about building management?

Most apartment and condo buildings have a building manager or board of managers that take care of general aspects of the building such as exterior upkeep, overall electrical and plumbing matters, and the like.

However, when it comes to the interior of your condo, it is no longer the building manager’s responsibility. You will be liable for any damage or maintenance issues within your apartment or condo. If you are renting, any damages to the property’s interior will need to be fixed before you move out or will be deducted from your security deposit, in order for the owner to fix it themselves. This is where the importance of an inspection is highlighted.

If there are damages present when you move in, they need to be brought to the owner’s attention and repaired in good time. The rules and regulations regarding what your responsibilities are as a tenant may vary depending on the type of management of the building.

Why do I need a professional inspection?

Imagine moving into your first apartment and there is a small notch in the kitchen door. It doesn’t bother you so you overlook it. Three years down the line and you are ready to move out, the building manager stops by for an inspection.

He looks at the notch in the door and tells you he will be deducting an amount off your security deposit to repair it. Without your full deposit, you will not be able to buy the crib you need for your baby on the way. You will most likely be extremely disappointed.

Therefore, it is imperative to have a professional inspection done before moving into any new home. An inspection report documenting all existing damages will secure your security deposit when you move out.

Without documentation of these issues, both the tenant and the owner have no record or proof of when the damage occurred nor who caused it and who will be responsible for the bill.

Professional inspectors know what to look for and can identify tell-tale signs of impending issues. They will also have all the necessary equipment to check the electrical work, plumbing and heating systems.

After the fact

Whether you choose to hire a professional home inspector or not, the decision is yours alone. If you do not conduct a professional inspection and later find an issue that is expensive to fix, you will wish you had spent a little extra money on an inspection before you move in.

If you do pay for the inspection and everything is in perfect, safe and working order, you will have peace of mind that your apartment is in a healthy condition.