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First Apartment Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

12/08/2021 J HOUSE 0 Comment

Congratulations on renting a great apartment. I am sure that you have put in the effort and made the right decision about the apartment. Now is a great time to close everything and move into a new home. You seem to be starting all over again from scratch. Contracts, keys, apartment checklists, utilities, … you have a lot to do to move into a new home.

And the very first ladder is – First Apartment Checklist. Why need a first apartment checklist? What is the reality like in Vietnam? What are the items to check in the first apartment checklist?

The best first apartment checklist: Everything you need to know and Make Moving Day a Breeze

You’ll find a pretty exhaustive list of the essentials of the first apartment checklist below. Whether you are a first-time renter or a long-timer, having a first apartment checklist can be of great help.


Why do you need a first apartment checklist?

What’s inside the apartment?

It is a fact that we cannot remember all the equipment and furniture inside the apartment. And even more can’t remember their damaged state. Thus, the first apartment checklist was born. It helps tenants and landlords know exactly what equipment and furniture are inside the apartment and what condition they are in. Knowing exactly what’s in your apartment is a smart way to start living comfortably and leave the risks behind.

No risk – no dispute

It is undeniable that some disputes come from loss and damage to the properties inside the apartment. And what’s worse is that tenants and landlords don’t know for sure if the property has been damaged or lost before the tenant moves in. Therefore, most of these disputes – the tenant is the disadvantaged. Because, you are in a weaker position – you end your contract, you come to move out and you need to get your deposit back.

To eliminate this type of risk, it is better to have a first apartment checklist. Know the exact furniture inside the apartment and eliminate the risks. The first apartment checklist is one of the useful tools you will need when moving out or when disputes arise.

During the inspection of the interior equipment of the apartment, the tenant will know what equipment and furniture the apartment is missing. From there, it is possible to negotiate with the owner to provide more or remove unnecessary furniture. This makes the apartment more suitable for you and meets the basic standards for a long life.

What is the reality like in Vietnam?

In this article, I want to show you a fact about the “first apartment checklist” in Vietnam, specifically in Ho Chi Minh City.

Only 20% of apartments have the first apartment checklist. This means that 2 out of 10 apartments have the first apartment checklist for landlords and tenants to check the equipment and furniture inside the apartment. And, the remaining 8 apartments may not have a check list or have but don’t want to do it.

In the contract, there is a clause on “handing over the property inside the apartment”, it is considered as an indispensable appendix of the contract. But in reality, there is no record of any property handover between the landlord and the tenant.

Most disputes about damage and loss of property inside the apartment – the tenant is the one who suffers. Because, tenants are under pressure to move and get their deposit back. From there, the tenant accepts to compensate for damage or loss of property – which inherently occurred before the tenant moved into the apartment.


First apartment checklist: Keys & WIFI

Keys and WIFI are on top of your first apartment checklist. You need to make sure it’s working properly and have a backup plan.

Key list:

  • Key to the main door to the building / magnetic card / code
  • Key to the main door to the apartment / magnetic card / code
  • Window key
  • Safe box key/password
  • Bathroom key
  • Bedroom key
  • Wardrobe key
  • A backup plan when you lose the key to the main door to the building or apartment.

WIFI and password:

  • Wi-Fi ID/name
  • Backup wifi ID/name
  • Password

Usually, each apartment will have its own wifi connection or share wifi with the building. Wifi is an electronic device – it can work well and it can also have problems. Therefore, you need to ask the landlord about a backup plan if your apartment’s wifi connection has problems.


First apartment checklist: Living room

The living room is the place where all communication, connection and sharing activities take place. The living room is also a place for relaxation and entertainment – a bright and functional living room provides a comfortable and vibrant living space. First Apartment Checklist – The living room will tell you what you already have and need the landlord to provide and what you need to buy and fix. Here is a sample living room checklist:

  • Power controller
  • Sofas & chairs
  • TV & TV stand
  • Lamp
  • Curtain
  • Bookcases & clocks & pictures
  • Shoe cabinet
  • Wifi router
  • Carpet
  • Green trees
  • Water purifier
  • Garbage can
  • Air conditioners & fans


First apartment checklist: Bedroom

The bedroom is the place to express your personality and personalization. Where you are free of who you are. The bedroom is where you spend a lot of time re-energizing yourself. Therefore, the care and meticulousness for the bedroom is always appreciated.

The list of equipment and furniture will depend on the area of the bedroom. Whether the equipment, furniture is more or less – expensive or cheap, you should have a checklist of them before moving in for real.

  • Beds & mattresses & pillows & sheets
  • Wardrobe & hangers
  • Ceiling & table lamps
  • Curtain
  • Makeup table
  • Safe box
  • Air-conditioner
  • Night stand/ Bedside table
  • Mirror


Move-in apartment checklist: Bathroom

The bathroom is the place where you express the most urgent and instinctive human needs. Temporarily ignore appliances and personal items such as toothbrush, facial cleanser, shaver, etc. We will focus and check the list of equipment that the owner has provided for your bathroom. Make sure that the equipment is sufficient for basic needs. Here is a sample list:

  • Clothes hangers
  • Shower
  • Bathtub
  • Mirrors and shelves for items
  • Toilet
  • Garbage can
  • Tissue
  • Towel
  • Carpet
  • Cup
  • Hairdryer
  • Hood


Apartment checklist: Dining room & kitchen

The dining room and kitchen are the areas with the most equipment and furniture that are most susceptible to damage and natural wear and tear. Therefore, you need to check the details and ask the landlord to add the necessary equipment. You need to consider your requirements as appropriate and the landlord can do it for you. Here is a sample list:

  • Dining tables & chairs & table decorations
  • Gas stove / electric stove
  • Hood
  • Water boiler
  • Electric cooker
  • Microwave
  • Oven mitts
  • Fridge
  • Dishwasher
  • Pots, pans
  • Set of knives, scissors & cutting boards
  • Set of chopsticks, spoon, fork
  • Set of cups, plates, bowls
  • Set of drinking glasses
  • Seasoning set

Important Note: Ask your landlord about appliances that can be damaged without compensation. And make notes on the apartment’s equipment checklist.


First apartment checklist: Laundry room

The rest of the apartment checklist is the laundry room. Not many appliances, but you should also ask the landlord to list them on the first apartment checklist.

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Irons & soleplates
  • Cloth rack
  • Laundry basket
  • Washing powder/ bleach
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Sink
  • Garbage can

First Apartment Checklist: Damage & Replacement

An integral part of the apartment handover list – damages and replacements. Most landlords and tenants overlook this item on their first apartment checklist. And this is the source of the later disputes. Therefore, you should ask the landlord to provide a list of damaged & replaced properties. Here are suggestions for you and your landlord:

#AreaProperty/equipmentCondition/damageRemedy planTime to be completed

The above are lists of assets and equipment needed for a fully functional apartment, but it is just your beginning with the house. You need to personalize the house so that it is friendly and makes you feel at home.

You can buy more equipment, decorations, … to make the house warm and bring your own style. You can also paint, repair or move the interior of the apartment, … put them where you like the most. However, make sure that any interior painting or moving activities have been approved by the landlord.


JHouse Content Team
The in-depth content development team on housing services for foreigners & Vietnamese in Vietnam. The content is simple, easy to understand, logically arranged to bring readers useful topics and information from real experiences. JHouse welcomes sharing & copying from you – Attach source & quote from JHouse, please!


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