The Move-in Inspection is one of the most important things you need to do!

Everyone seems to be against landlords. At least that’s what you’ll feel like if you start reading articles and blogs on the internet. Everything is written for tenants and how they can protect themselves against “greedy” landlords. But what about you? How can you protect yourself from tenants? That’s a valid question and one that deserves to be examined.

Inspect the Entire Property with the Tenant by your side

Inspection reports prove the condition of the property when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out. The good practice requires that at least two written inspection reports be done.

  1. The move in inspection report must take occur one week before or after the tenant moves in.
  2. The move out inspection report must take occur one week before or after the tenant moves out.

Ideally, the inspections should be completed when the property is empty.

Tenants should attend the inspections with the landlord. However, if the landlord proposes two separate times for the inspection to take place and the tenant doesn’t agree to attend, the landlord can complete the inspection without the tenant.

I think it’s important to notate items such as lawn condition, fence condition, exterior items (gutters, roof, siding, sidewalks, mailbox, soffit and fascia), screens, front door, wall paint colors, light fixtures (model and color), mirrors, vanities, flooring type and condition, plumbing fixtures, smoke detectors, garage door openers, appliances (make and model), water heater (age and condition), HVAC (age and condition), etc. You get the gist. The idea is that you document everything. Make sure you do this with your tenant so that your tenant understands how well you documented the condition of the property before they moved in. Get them to sign the document verifying the condition of the unit.

Take Pictures or video during the Move-in Inspection

While some property managers or landlords tend to hurry through this step, I think it’s one of the most important steps to leasing a property. It’s important that you and your tenant are on the same page regarding the condition of the property upon move-in. Even talk with them about the lease responsibilities as they agreed to. Be as thorough as possible and document the condition of everything that could potentially experience wear and tear during the course of the lease. It may be there is a current condition less than perfect and you should outline what the condition actually is.

In front of the tenant you make it clear how important this is, and this reiterates the fact that you are carefully documenting the condition of the property. In many cases, this will cause the tenant to be more careful with the property.

The first responsibility a tenant has towards your property is to take good care of it and keep it in good condition. A tenant should be careful with your property and not cause damage due to carelessness — they should treat it the same way as they would their own property. It is also important that they keep it clean. An unhygienic environment can become a breeding ground for pests and mold. It is important to ask your tenants to keep your property clean and in good condition.

Discuss your expectations with the Tenant and have them sign the inspection sheet.

Discuses all the Lease clauses with the Tenant and show them their responsibilities

Most conflicts between a tenant and a landlord arise because the tenant feels the landlord unjustly withheld a portion (or all) of the security deposit when the tenant moved out of the property. While there are plenty of unscrupulous landlords who likely do take advantage of tenants, many landlords are justified in keeping the security deposit — but they simply didn’t set the expectation and appropriately document condition and costs up front.

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