move in move out checklist

The Power of a Move-in and Move-out Checklist for Landlords

January 12, 2023

Creating a move-in/move-out checklist is an essential step for landlords seeking to safeguard their property and document the natural wear and tear of the rental. A thorough and detailed record of the property’s condition at the start and end of each tenant’s lease can effectively identify any damages or issues that may have occurred.

In this article, we will delve into the significance of documenting normal wear and tear and provide insight into crafting a comprehensive move-in/move-out checklist for both you and your tenants.

The Importance of Documenting Normal Wear and Tear: A Landlord’s Guide to Protecting Your Property

Documenting normal wear and tear is an important aspect of property management for landlords. Normal wear and tear is defined as the gradual deterioration of a property due to everyday use and exposure to the elements. Therefore, it’s considered a landlord’s responsibility to repair or replace items affected by this type of damage.

By keeping a record of the condition of the property at the start and end of each tenant’s lease, landlords can easily identify and document any damages. This information can then be used to distinguish between normal wear and tear and damages caused by the tenant, making it easier to hold tenants accountable for any damages they may have caused.

Additionally, documenting normal wear and tear can help landlords budget for future repairs and maintenance, ensuring that their property remains in good condition for future tenants.

Effective Move-in and Move-out Checklists

  1. Inspect the exterior of the property for any visible damage like broken windows, damaged siding, or missing shingles.
  2. Take photos of the interior and exterior of the property, including any pre-existing damages.
  3. Check the floors, walls, and ceilings for any holes, stains, or water damage.
  4. Test the appliances, light fixtures, and electrical outlets to ensure they’re in working order.
  5. Inspect the plumbing and check for leaks or clogs in the sinks, toilets, and shower/tub.
  6. Check the condition of the HVAC system, including the furnace and air conditioning unit.
  7. Inspect the windows and ensure that the locks and screens are operational.
  8. Check the condition of the doors, including the front and back doors, and ensure that they lock properly.
  9. Check to see whether there are any broken or wobbly railings.
  10. Review the condition of the yard and landscaping, including any damage to walkways, decks, and patios.
  11. Move in: Review the lease agreement with the tenant and have them sign and date it. Move out: Compare the move-in and move-out checklists and document any damages or issues that occurred during their stay.

Bottom Line

To avoid costly repairs and get your rental property prepared for showings, it’s a smart idea to conduct proactive inspections inbetween occupants. Even the toughest applicants won’t have anything to complain about!

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