Safety First

Safety Checklist

Print this list in PDF format and bring with you to appointments!




  • Is refrigerator included? Is it clean?
  • Sink large enough to wash dishes; drains properly and doesn't leak?
  • Stove & oven in good repair?
  • Turn on stove do all burners work?
  • Garbage disposal run?
  • Adequate hot & cold water?


  • Toilet: free from leaks
  • Sink, tub, shower: free from leaks; drain properly, in good condition
  • Newer electric socket (GFCI) near sink
  • Adequate ventilation (fan or window)
  • Walls: from floor to 4 ft. must have non-absorbent, easily cleaned material (tiles or vinyl coating)


  • Enough hot & cold water for ordinary use
  • Hot water heater in good condition (heats to 120F degrees)


  • Oil, gas or electric?
  • Who pays, and how much?
  • How to contact utility company?
  • System must be adequate to keep every room at 68F between September 16 & June 14, 7 am-11 pm; 64F 11pm-7am.


  • For each room, 2 separate outlets or 1 outlet & 1 overhead light fixture
  • Electric light fixtures in storage & hallways
  • No temporary wiring
  • No wiring under rugs or passing   through doorways
  • Will your computer/stereo cause fuses to blow? (Is system old or new?)
  • Will you need lamps?
  • Internet access installed?


  • Adequate closet space?


  • Adequate ventilation for every room (window or vent)
General Safety
  • Visit apt at night with a friend to get a feel for neighborhood; are front & back doors and street well-lighted?
  • Lighted parking area?
  • Working locks on all doors & windows?
  • Working screens?
  • Appropriate # of persons per unit.
  • Sliding glass doors with bar or stick across base?

Fire Safety

  • Two exits per unit; no blocked exits
  • Adequate & accessible fire escape
  • Working smoke detectors in/near every bedroom, hallway and basement
  • Candles and open flames are FIRE HAZARDS and should be avoided
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors must be present in the unit.


  • Driveway parking?
  • Near "T"/ bus stop?
  • Approximate walking time _________

Garbage Collection

  • Where are garbage cans/covers kept?
  • Recycling boxes?
  • When is trash pick-up?

Structural Maintenance

  • Foundations: water-tight, rodent-proof, in good repair
  • Floors: free of holes, cracks or bulges
  • Walls: in good repair
  • Ceilings: in good repair
  • Doors & windows: water-tight, no drafts
  • Stairways: stable with handrail
  • Porch: railing is over 3 ft. from ground
  • No lead paint if children under the age of six are living in the apartment

General Maintenance

  • No rats or roaches
  • Water, heat, electricity, and gas must be on at all times except during actual repair

Concerns or Complaints
Discuss questions or concerns about an apartment's condition with the landlord before signing a lease. If repairs are needed, write agreement into lease, eg, "Landlord will fix leaky sink before move-in date." Sign and date.

After you move in: complaints about unresponsive landlords (who do not respond to repeated phone calls or letters) should be made to the local Board of Health.

  • Medford Board of Health, (781) 393-2560
  • Somerville Board of Health, (617) 625-6600 ext. 4300
  Off-Campus Housing Resource Center, Harleston Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 02155  |  Tel: (617) 627-3248  |  Fax: (617) 627-3929  |  Email us