Property inspections are an important part of protecting your investment, and they will be conducted at various times before, during, and after a lease period. The move-in inspection is especially critical. This is the only way you have to accurately and in great detail document the condition of your property before a tenant takes possession. You’ll need this later – when the tenancy ends and you’re making decisions about the security deposit. A detailed property condition checklist can be used to defend yourself against any tenant claims or disputes.
Checklist Items: Repairs and Replacements
Another good reason to have a move-in property condition checklist is to ensure everything in the property is functioning as it should. During your inspection, you can make a list of anything that needs repairing or replacing. You want to provide a home that’s in excellent condition, so make a note of even minor things that need to be taken care of. Paint chips and burnt-out light bulbs might be on there. Test everything to make sure it’s working and ready for the tenant to use.
More than likely, everything will be working. You’ve probably inspected the property prior to the move-in, but it never hurts to double-check. It gives you an opportunity to note on your condition report that everything is in good working order. This will also eliminate any early maintenance requests and show your new residents that the care and condition of your property is important to you.
If there are any repairs that need to be made, get your vendors lined up before the move-in date. All work should be completed before your tenant takes possession of the home.
Note Cleanliness on the Property Condition Checklist
You want to rent out a clean home. Your tenants deserve to move into a property that’s free of dirt and debris. You also want to keep your standards and expectations high. When you provide a professionally cleaned home for your tenants at the beginning of the lease, you can expect the home to be returned in the same condition at the end of the lease term. Use your move-in condition checklist to confirm that floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets are free of dirt, debris, and dust.
Hire professional cleaners to take care of every detail before the tenant moves in, and make sure your checklist reflects that all standards of cleanliness have been met.
Document Property Condition with Photos
Your move-in property condition checklist will only be as reliable as the photos that support it.
Take excellent pictures and even videos. Write up descriptions and make notes. Share the checklist with your tenants when they move in. You’ll want to provide your tenants with the opportunity to make any of their own observations on the condition of the property at move-in. Keep this in your records and refer to it when you’re inspecting the property at move-out.
A move-in checklist protects you and it protects your property. It also helps your residents because they shouldn’t be held responsible for pre-existing issues that may be present in the home.