As my mother always says, "If you don’t ask, you don’t get." If the pipes are damaged, the ceiling is leaking and the drain is clogged, ask the landlord to fix them before you move in. The worst the landlord can say is no.

Be aware, though, that the changes the landlord refuses to make mean more costs for you before you get started. At the very least, you want to be able to start with a no-frills but clean, functional space. Make sure that any changes the landlord does agree to make for you are documented in your lease (or other agreement).

If the renovations are extensive, you may also want to request a rent abatement until you can move into the premises. A real estate attorney can help identify for you the items you can reasonably expect the landlord to agree to.