When examining a new apartment, according to MSN Real Estate, tenants should ensure the property is safe and sanitary before signing a rental lease agreement.

While landlords and rental property management firms try to care for their units, previous tenants may have been less courteous and careful than they should. For this reason, the source states it's wise to take a careful look just in case.

Specifically, tenants should try the lights and electrical outlets, inspect the fuse box and look for any fire hazards or signs electrical systems might be flawed. At worst, such a flaw could present a mortal danger. If not, it might just result in power loss at an inconvenient time. It is also wise to test the smoke detectors and ensure they are functional. If the apartment has a fireplace, tenants should determine whether it is operable or strictly decorative.

Prospective residents should make sure the windows and doors will close and lock, check the buildings stairs and railings to see that they are secure. While inspecting the property, it's worth keeping an eye out for mold or water damage, especially under sinks or in other places easily forgotten.