Showings are a great opportunity to inspect the property, take your own pictures and videos, and ask any questions that were not covered by the listing. Here is a document on How to Call a Landlord and Set Up a Showing.
Make sure to do the following at a showing:
Create a list of questions to ask during the showing. Some of these questions may include if utilities are included, how much the security deposit is, what appliances are included should be on your list, parking availability, etc. Ask general questions and specific questions.
This Questions to Ask Your Landlord page covers the basic, most important information. Bring a list with your own personal questions and concerns to rental showings as well. Filling this out can also help narrow down your choices later!
Take notes. Notes can include information given by the landlord during the showing and your own personal thoughts, concerns, or questions. It is important to have notes when you are going to several showings as it can be difficult to keep information straight! Create a list of what features and amenities you like/dislike about a property, it can help to determine what property is the best fit for you. Take pictures and videos (especially if there are damages!). These will be good to have to refer back to when deciding which unit is best for you, as well as having record of damages for landlords to fix before you move in.
Use this Rental Unit Comparison Worksheet to fill out for each unit.
Ask for a sample lease that you can take to the legal clinic on campus if you like the unit.
Additionally, if you do end up signing the lease, this will help you complete the check-in sheet and keep you covered for move out. The dates on the pictures will show proof of previous damages, since the photos were taken previous to your residency.
You can (and should) visit multiple units before deciding on a unit and signing a lease. Do not sign a lease with the first place you visit, no matter what the landlord says! Creating a pros and cons list may be a helpful strategy to compare different units. This can organize the features you like and dislike about each option. Sit down with your roommates, pull out the pictures, and go over each option. This will make the decision process a little easier.
For example: You could love the size of the bedrooms in one unit, but have to pay for parking. For another house, parking might be free but the bedrooms may be smaller. Decide what is more important to you and your roommates and go from there!