Move-in inspections are designed to hold all parties – the landlord, property manager, and tenants – responsible for the condition of the rental property at the time of move in, during the lease term, and at the end when the tenant moves out.
Note: You can find the PDF checklist below!
When a tenant is both entering and leaving your property, it's imperative that you do a walkthrough before giving them the keys or taking the keys back. Walkthrough inspections are important for both you as the landlord and the tenant themselves to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to potential damages that need to be paid for or to check what needs to still be done for a new tenant with regard to repairs.
If doing a move out inspection, this is where you can make a note of any issues that need resolving in order to know if you need to retain any of the damage deposit to finance repair. If this is starting to sound a bit daunting, here are just a couple of things you should consider watching out for on your tenant move in or move out inspection.
Door And Window Locks
This is a huge one. You will want to ensure that all doors and windows lock properly and nothing wiggles or is loose. Check each doorknob and try all the locks. If a key is missing for a specific lock, be sure to find a replacement or potentially switch out the locks with a locksmith for the safety of your next tenant, as well as yourself.
Another big one. Fire alarms need to be in good working order to be considered up to code in most places. You can test them by burning something like a piece of paper under the detector and waiting for the alarm. Likewise, you should check the batteries and replace them if they're old.
Water damage on ceilings and walls can become a huge problem much faster than you'd expect. Check for any signs of bubbling or peeling paint and make a note of it in order to follow up on it and get the leaks repaired. In a number of instances, leaks may not be the result of the tenant, so you may need to finance it yourself, so be sure to have good landlords insurance to cover the cost. The last thing you want is a leaky wall or ceiling - these can impact your profits on the rental and cause further, potentially irreparable damage.
All appliances should be able to work to standard. Check each burner on the stove top as well as the broiler and oven. Make sure the fridge and freezer get adequately cold and work as they should. Ensure to rectify any issues before a new tenant takes over the property.
Electrics are important to any home. Bring a phone charger and try it in every outlet in the house to make sure they all work. A malfunctioning outlet isn't just a potential annoyance, it can be a safety hazard as well.
When it comes to plumbing, go through the house and try to flush all toilets, turn on all taps and make sure no pipes are leaking. You will want to be sure that no leaks exist as they can be a nuisance as well as costly later down the line.
There you have just a couple of great things you should check during your next move in or move out inspection. All landlords should take it upon themselves to conduct such inspections.
By having your tenants sign the move-in inspection, you set a very clear message that you expect them to care for your property in a certain way, and that if they fail to do so, they will be held accountable.
We provide you with a PDF checklist for move-in inspections here.
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