You want an apartment or house that meets your basic needs, but preferably more than just the basics for shelter and safety. A unit should look clean and well maintained and have a certificate of occupancy, if required. You can call the city or municipality to find out if a certificate of occupancy is required, if an inspection will be required and if the landlord is in good standing and has no outstanding violations.
You may want to talk with tenants in the apartment complex or the neighbors in order to get a sense of how the landlord responds to the needs of the tenants. Do a Google search of the landlord or company you will be renting from to check their reputation in the community. Use the apartment inspection checklists at the end of this booklet as a guide to ensure that you have taken a careful look at the property.