couple viewing an apartment

Essential Apartment Viewing Etiquette Rules

Apartment Viewing Etiquette

The search for the perfect apartment can be a fun and intriguing experience. As a prospective renter embarking on this journey, it’s critical to understand the apartment viewing etiquette rules that apply during apartment viewings. Learning and following these guidelines will make the process easier for all parties involved and increase your chances of securing your ideal living space.

In this article, we’ll review some of the most important apartment-viewing etiquette guidelines and offer advice on how to follow them. This can help make your apartment search experience more manageable and enjoyable.

Making an Appointment

It is imperative to make an appointment with the landlord or property manager before visiting any apartments. It would be disrespectful and waste the landlord’s time to just show up without calling first. The landlord may also have other appointments scheduled for the same day, so respecting their time is essential.

When you call to schedule an appointment, ask if a specific time would be best for your visit. Confirm your appointment date and time, and inquire if there is anything else you should bring or prepare.

Selecting the Right Attire

Suitable clothing is a crucial part of apartment viewing etiquette. There’s no need for formal attire, but ensure you’re dressed neatly and comfortably. Steer clear of revealing outfits, sportswear, or any clothing that might be perceived as disrespectful or improper.

Choosing the right outfit will help you feel at ease during the viewing, making it easier for you and the landlord to focus. You might consider the following tips to enhance your appearance: 

  • Opt for neutral or understated colors: Wearing neutral or muted colors, such as black, navy, or gray, can help you appear more polished and professional during the apartment viewing.
  • Pay attention to footwear: Your choice of shoes can also impact the impression you create. Choose clean, well-maintained footwear that complements your outfit and the occasion.
  • Accessorize modestly: While accessories can add a touch of personality to your attire, it’s best to keep them minimal and tasteful. Avoid flashy or over-sized jewelry, and stick to classic pieces that will not detract from your overall appearance.
  • Grooming: Ensure your hair is neat and styled appropriately, and don’t forget about facial hair or makeup. Keep makeup minimal and natural-looking, and ensure facial hair is well-groomed.

By dressing appropriately and paying attention to these tips, you’ll present yourself as a responsible and respectable prospective tenant, increasing your chances of leaving a positive impression on potential landlords.

Have a Good Personal Hygiene

In addition to wearing appropriate attire, upholding excellent personal hygiene is crucial. Ensure you shower, brush your teeth, and put on freshly laundered clothes. Presenting yourself as a responsible and well-groomed tenant helps create a favorable impression. 

To further enhance your personal hygiene, consider the following tips:

  • Use a subtle fragrance: A light, pleasant scent can contribute to a positive impression. However, avoid using overpowering fragrances, as they may cause discomfort to those sensitive to strong smells.
  • Keep nails clean and trimmed: Well-manicured nails demonstrate attention to detail and personal care. Ensure your nails are clean, trimmed, and, if desired, painted with a neutral or understated color.
  • Fresh breath: Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum or using a breath freshener before the appointment can help maintain fresh breath throughout the viewing. However, remember to dispose of the gum before entering the property.
  • Maintain a neat appearance: Keep an eye on details such as removing lint from clothing, ensuring your shoes are clean and polished, and checking for any loose threads or buttons on your attire.

Being On Time

Most people should know this part of apartment viewing etiquette. Being punctual showcases your consideration and accountability. Make sure to arrive at your appointment promptly or a bit ahead of schedule. If you are delayed or need rescheduling, make sure to communicate with the landlord or property manager to keep them informed.

Furthermore, punctuality conveys your seriousness and commitment to the appointment. This can create a positive impression on the landlord or property manager, demonstrating that you value their time and the opportunity they have provided. As a result, they may view you as a more reliable and desirable tenant.

Formulating Questions in Advance

Prepare a list of questions about the apartment before the appointment. This will allow you to focus on the conversation rather than scrambling for discussion topics. Your questions may include the following:

  • How much does the rent cost each month, and what is included?
  • What is the security deposit amount, and when will it be refunded?
  • Are there any move-in discounts or promotions available?
  • Are pets permitted, and is there a fee or security deposit?
  • What is the length of the lease, and are there penalties for early termination?
  • Are there storage or parking limitations?
  • What amenities and appliances are available?
  • Are there any rules about how the apartment can be decorated or changed?

Having these questions ready will convey to the landlord that you’re serious about the apartment and have done your research.

Bring any Roommates Who Plan on Living with You

This is often an overlooked part of apartment viewing etiquette. When looking for an apartment to share with roommates, it is essential to include them in the apartment viewing process. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that the apartment selection meets everyone’s needs.

Each roommate can evaluate the space, layout, size, and suitability for their specific needs by being present during the viewing. This also makes it possible to make decisions together, which lowers the possibility of future conflicts or dissatisfaction. They may have specific preferences or concerns about the apartment, and any questions or concerns will be addressed promptly during the apartment viewing. 

Since every tenant will interact with the landlord, it’s also imperative for everyone to get a sense of how well they get along and communicate with them. By doing this, future misunderstandings and disputes may be avoided. Also, if you appear to the landlord as a cohesive group, you have a better chance of being trustworthy tenants.

Having Papers and Proof of Income/Credit Ready

To streamline the rental application process and showcase your commitment, you must come prepared with all the necessary paperwork, including proof of income and credit history. Providing all required documentation upfront enables the landlord or property manager to make a quicker decision on your application, reducing the waiting time and increasing your chances of securing the apartment.

Demonstrating your financial stability and responsibility through organized and thorough documentation can help establish trust and credibility with the landlord, making you a more appealing candidate for tenancy. Having all financial documents readily available allows for easier comparison between different rental options and a more informed negotiation process, ensuring you secure the best terms for your lease.

Furthermore, being prepared with all the necessary paperwork helps avoid potential delays that could result in missing a rental opportunity. Bringing all pertinent information to the initial meeting signals your serious intent and readiness to proceed, which can further solidify your position as a reliable and committed applicant.

Respecting the Property

Be respectful of the landlord’s property during the viewing. Avoid touching anything without the landlord’s permission, including opening cabinets, closets, and drawers. Never smoke, eat, or drink in the apartment. If you want to test the plumbing, ask permission first. Once the landlord allows it, test the plumbing by running water in the sink and flushing the toilet a few times.

If you want to take pictures of the apartment, ask permission first. The landlord may not mind if you take photos, but some landlords are wary of this because they don’t want people posting their property online or sharing it with friends and family.

Taking Notes for Future Reference

Take notes on the apartment’s amenities and features while viewing it, as well as on any questions you have that have been answered. Notes will help you avoid asking the landlord the same questions later and assist you in making an informed decision. Also, detailed notes are helpful when comparing multiple apartments. Consider noting the following:

  • The general condition of the apartment, including any damage or wear and tear.
  • The property’s size and layout, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • The condition and quality of appliances, such as the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher.
  • The presence and quality of amenities such as a pool, gym, or laundry facilities.
  • The parking situation, including the availability of on-site parking and street parking.
  • The apartment’s location, such as its proximity to public transportation, grocery stores, and other amenities.
  • The length of the lease and any associated penalties for breaking the lease.

Avoiding Overstay

Another aspect that you must taken into consideration when it comes to apartment viewing etiquette. Take the time to view the apartment and ask questions, but don’t overstay your welcome. Keep the appointment reasonably short, and refrain from lingering after the landlord has indicated the viewing’s conclusion. Be mindful of the landlord’s schedule and respect it. If you need more time to look at the apartment, ask if you can come back later in the day or another day. 

Negotiating the Price Respectfully

When expressing interest in an apartment, addressing concerns about rent or associated fees in a respectful and non-confrontational manner is crucial. Maintaining a polite and professional demeanor allows for effective communication of concerns and exploring potential negotiation opportunities.

To ensure a successful negotiation, come prepared with research on comparable properties to support your points, demonstrating due diligence and persuasiveness. Show flexibility by suggesting alternative solutions or considering different lease terms that benefit both parties.

Emphasize your strengths as a tenant, such as a steady income, good credit score, and rental history, to convince the landlord of your reliability and responsibility. Being transparent about your budget constraints helps the landlord understand your perspective and offer solutions that fit your financial circumstances.

Also, politely inquire about any ongoing promotions, move-in specials, or discounts that could help offset rental costs, such as a reduced security deposit or waived application fee. By approaching the negotiation process with respect and professionalism, you can effectively address your concerns while maintaining a positive relationship with the landlord, increasing the likelihood of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Valuing the Landlord’s Time

Demonstrating respect for the landlord’s time is essential during the rental process. Refrain from frequently canceling or rescheduling appointments, which can be interpreted as a lack of commitment and a waste of the landlord’s valuable time.

In the event that you must cancel or reschedule a meeting, it’s important to inform the landlord promptly, providing ample notice and a valid reason for the change. You can build a good relationship with the landlord and demonstrate your dependability as a potential tenant by considering their busy schedule and keeping lines of communication open.

Politely Following Up After the Appointment

Once the apartment tour has concluded, it’s important to contact the landlord or property manager to convey your interest and express gratitude for their time. Demonstrating enthusiasm for the apartment and acknowledging the landlord’s efforts helps to make a positive impression. 

Consider sending a thoughtful email or placing a phone call to thank them for the opportunity to view the property and to inquire about the subsequent steps in the application process. By taking this initiative, you showcase your genuine interest in the rental and foster a good rapport with the landlord or property manager.

Once you officially state you’re interested in renting the apartment, a background check will be conducted.


In conclusion, navigating the apartment hunting journey requires understanding the essential etiquette rules during apartment viewings. By adhering to these guidelines and demonstrating respect, professionalism, and genuine interest, you increase your chances of securing your ideal living space while fostering positive relationships with landlords and property managers. 

From making appointments and dressing appropriately to asking relevant questions and valuing the landlord’s time, these etiquette rules ensure a more enjoyable and manageable apartment search experience. By following these recommendations, you will make the process smoother for all parties involved and present yourself as a responsible and reliable prospective tenant.

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