10 Proper Apartment Viewing Etiquette Tips

When you go to view an apartment, you’re assessing the apartment and seeing if it fits your needs. On the flip side, the apartment complex is doing something similar. With your application information and how you act, they will be thinking about if you’re someone they want to have living in their building and amongst their residents.

For that reason, following proper apartment viewing etiquette when doing an apartment tour is important. With these 10 tips, you can be sure to put your best foot forward.

a man and woman tour an apartment and show proper apartment viewing etiquette while the landlord gives them a tour

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Apartment Viewing Etiquette

How should I prepare for an apartment viewing?

To prepare for an apartment viewing, here are some tasks to do beforehand:

  • Set your budget and make it a priority to stick to it. Know how much you can afford to spend on rent and utilities.
  • Have your list of must-haves, wants, and would likes. This way you’ll be prepared to check them off during the apartment tour.
  • Check the availability of the apartment you are interested in viewing. Call if necessary to confirm that it’s still available.
  • Check the office hours and directions for setting up an apartment tour. You may need to make an appointment or take a day off to view apartments during business hours.
  • Look up directions to the apartment complex. If you have an appointment, you’ll know what time to leave. You can also see what’s around the area.
  • Prepare questions to ask on apartment tour.
  • Dress in the appropriate attire.

We’ll dive more into these tips with the apartment viewing tips and guidelines below. Remember that being polite and courteous is important at every stage of the apartment hunting process—before you even arrive for your apartment tour.

1 – Only View Apartments that Meet Your Requirements

Now that you’ve done an extensive amount of research and filled out your spreadsheet, the next step in the apartment hunting checklist is preparing for the apartment tour. You’ll want to begin by narrowing down the apartment hunting search list to a few top contenders that you want to visit.

This keeps you from driving around aimlessly all day. Also, you can formulate a plan of what to visit when and find the best route.

Second, it is courteous to the leasing agents and landlords to only visit places where you really have an interest in living. They will spend a lot of time with you answering questions and taking down your information.

Additionally, they’ll be following up later to see if they can answer questions to help you make a decision. If you’re not going to pick up their calls, then you don’t need to visit and spend their time either.

2 – Confirm Availability Before the Apartment Tour

How do you ask about apartment availability?

To ask about apartment availability, you’ll want to call the number provided on the website during business hours. Ask to speak to a leasing agent, and let them know that you’re inquiring about renting an apartment.

Once you’ve been connected to a leasing agent, briefly introduce yourself and mention that you’re interested in renting an apartment at their complex.

Give them the time frame of when you’d like to move and the number of beds/baths that you’re looking for in a unit. Next, ask them what their availability looks like for those parameters.

If you’ve seen a unit listed as available online, ask them to confirm the apartment type (beds/bath), availability date, and starting rent of the unit.

Before hanging up, make sure to note the name of the leasing agent.

If you need to call back later or follow up, you’ll have the name of the person that you spoke to. That way, you can continue the conversation with the same person. It saves a lot of time and headache on both ends!

3 – Schedule an Apartment Tour

This apartment viewing tip is completely optional. If you’re visiting several places very close by, it may make sense to simply drive from one to the other and course correct as leasing agents adjust their schedules to the day’s needs.

However, some apartment complexes have certain hours when they give tours or prefer you make an appointment.

Scheduling an apartment tour ahead of time ensures (most of the time) the leasing agent is available during your preferred time to visit.

How do I schedule an apartment tour?

To schedule an apartment tour, you’ll want to view the instructions on the apartment complex website. Some places want you to call ahead of time or fill out information online beforehand. Others allow you to just walk in during office hours, but you may have to wait before someone can help you.

What to say when you want to tour an apartment?

“Hello. My name is <>, and I’m interested in touring an apartment at your complex. Do you offer apartment tours? During what days and times?”

“I have availability during these <days> and <times>. Do you prefer I set up an appointment before coming?”

4 – Prepare Questions to Ask on Apartment Tour

Now that you know an apartment is available in your budget and time frame, it’s time to prepare apartment tour questions. It’s poor apartment viewing etiquette to go into an apartment tour empty handed.

Jot down any specific questions that were raised by what you saw on the website. For example, if you have a pet and an apartment complex has a pet policy, but it says, “breed restrictions,” then you’ll want to be sure to ask about the breed restrictions.

Additionally, note down any questions from your spreadsheet and apartment hunting checklist that are still unanswered. For example, was there no mention of parking on the website? Be sure to ask about the parking situation when you go on the apartment.

For assistance in preparing questions, we have a master list of questions to ask when renting an apartment. This is also available to download as a free printable PDF.

5 – Bring Your ID and…

What to bring to an apartment viewing?

  • ID – usually required for the leasing office to hold until the tour has been completed.
  • Your contact information – typically, apartment complexes ask you to fill out contact information before they give you an apartment tour. They use this to follow up with you later and answer further questions.
  • General Employment information – depending on the apartment, they may ask outright for your employment information on their interest forms. Most of this information is reserved for the application, but some places will ask for it earlier. For example, if the complex doesn’t allow guarantors, they want to be sure you meet their employment requirements.
  • Notepad / Place to take notes – having your apartment hunting list or checklist handy may be helpful during the apartment tour. You can fill out sections live during the tour.
  • Device that takes pictures – in case you want pictures of the complex to sift through later when picking your favorite apartments.

6 – Dress Comfortably

Since you don’t know how far the model home or available unit may be from the leasing office, dress comfortable for your apartment tour. Some properties are huge, and there isn’t always a golf cart to drive you from place to place.

Wear comfortable shoes for walking, such as sneakers or supportive sandals.

You’ll also want to dress according to the weather, with a raincoat or umbrella if rain is in the forecast.

Should you dress nicely for an apartment tour?

Yes, while you don’t need to dress business casual, it’s proper apartment viewing etiquette to be dressed smart casual. This depends, however, on the area you’re renting in and the typical weather.

7 – Be Punctual & Patient

I cannot stress this apartment viewing tip enough. If you have an appointment, make sure to be on time. When you’re running late, call ahead to confirm the appointment time is still available.

Also, be patient. Depending on other priorities of the staff, you may have to wait a while, whether you made an appointment or not.

No matter what the current situation at the complex is, be courteous and polite to the leasing agent. Also be kind to the residents, maintenance staff, and anyone else that you may come in contact with.

8 – Take Notes

Bring a pad of paper or have an empty note prepared on your phone to take notes during the tour. In your apartment hunt, you’ll likely view a lot of contenders. It may be hard to keep them straight, so taking good notes will save you a headache later.

If you’re not using your phone for notes or the camera, then put your phone away in your pocket or purse to give your attention to the leasing agent. The leasing agents will appreciate this apartment viewing etiquette so much.

9 – Take Pictures (if allowed)

For the last apartment viewing tip, I recommend taking pictures. This is so you can remember each place and show it to people who weren’t able to go apartment hunting with you.

Always ask the leasing agent or landlord before taking pictures though as some complexes may have rules against it. (For example, if you’re viewing an apartment where someone is currently living, not a model apartment).

Wait until after the leasing agent has finished showing you an area of the property or an apartment. Then ask if you can take pictures. We all know how frustrating it can be to talk to someone when they have their phone or camera out.

10 – Thank the Leasing Agent / Landlord

Whether the apartment tour was a homerun or not what you expected, always thank the leasing agents and/or landlords for their time.

If you’re ready to take further action and rent the apartment, then ask questions about the application and move in process.

However, if this apartment wasn’t the right fit, you can kindly let the leasing agent know. “Thank you for taking me on a tour of the apartments and complex. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the right apartment for me at this time. Thank you again for your time.”

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What happens after the apartment tour?

Now that you’ve had your apartment tour, it’s time to move to the next phase of the apartment hunting checklist. Narrowing down your list to your top choices and making a decision.

Hopefully, you’ll also find the best apartment after day one of touring. After all, some of us just get lucky that way.

When it’s time to move, you’ll want to have a solid moving plan. No one loves moving anyway so this makes the process run more smoothly. Now that you have an idea of the apartment options available, you may want to further assess if it’s time to move out (like from your parents house).

I wish you the best in your apartment hunting! With these apartment viewing etiquette tips, you’ll be sure to make a good impression at whichever apartments you tour.

How do you make a good impression on an apartment tour?

Leave me a comment below!

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2 thoughts on “10 Proper Apartment Viewing Etiquette Tips”

  1. I just received a call from my sister asking if I knew of or could assist her in finding a furnished apartment that she and her boyfriend might be able to rent. Though some complexes could have regulations prohibiting it, I’ll advise her to always inquire with the leasing agent or landlord before taking photographs. As an illustration, you stated that visiting an apartment where someone is presently residing rather than a model unit. This will help my sister so much.

    1. Hi Lily,
      Thank you for letting us know how this article helped you to help your sister! We appreciate the feedback.

      ~ Trish, from KJL Co.

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