If possible, walk through the house/apartment with the landlord before you move in. Ask if they have a standard condition report or inspection form for the property that you should complete.
Document damages before unpacking by taking pictures and videos of every room and emailing them to yourself or someone else who can store the emails, like a parent or sibling. Include the inside of closets and appliances, floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors, and plumbing fixtures.
Tips for checking for damages:
Review your lease for information on how to notify your landlord of any previous damage or items that need repair. Many leases specify a certain number of days for this communication, so complete this thoroughly and quickly. After that, they may assume that everything was in good repair, or that you are responsible for the damage.