Apartment Bathrooms and Prospective Residents

It’s a question all prospective renters want to know when they’re touring an apartment, but very few ask: Could they use the toilet?

It’s embarrassing for people to ask, but why should it be? A recent article in The New York Times asked if people attending open houses should be able to use the toilets of the houses they were scoping out, and the answer was yes. So shouldn’t it be the same when people are looking at apartments? They’re going to be living there, after all. Shouldn’t they be able to make sure the plumbing works? Don’t you want them to be able to really picture living there? Wouldn’t you rather them do what they have to do and then finish the apartment tour at a leisurely pace rather then them rushing through the tour and then racing across the street to the nearest gas station and then later not remembering anything about the apartment? Of course! The toilet isn’t ornamental. It’s a functioning, crucial part of any apartment. (Plus gas station bathrooms are disgusting.)

Encourage leasing agents to stock units that are for rent with toilet paper, soap and hand towels, and to offer use of the bathrooms to prospective renters before they have to ask. (It’s your call if you want to leave a newspaper.) It should be part of their spiel—”And here’s the bathroom. There’s a spacious linen closet, powerful shower head with adjustable settings and, of course, the toilet. Please feel free to use it if you’d like.” Then there’s no embarrassment if they do have to use it. The units will hopefully be cleaned before someone moves in anyway, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

What do you think? Should prospective renters be allowed to use the apartment bathroom? Is that a pea-brained idea, or will it flush out more renters? Will it help you get a “head”? Is scatological humor as funny as it was when you were 14? (The answer to that one is obviously a resounding “yes.”)

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor