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17 Areas To Include For Move-In Inspection
If a move-in inspection is not part of your process in renting out a house to a tenant, you are asking for trouble.
Not to be confused with a typical home inspection, it is one of the most critical steps in landlording. And should be conducted with a proper form for documentation.
What new investors often don’t realize, is that the move-in inspection form, sometimes referred to as statement of condition, serves an important role in determining the upfront amount of the security deposit.
With a form that is properly endorsed by both parties, it can be used to compare the condition of the house at the point when a tenant moves in and when he departs.
Charges can then be made against the security deposit.
The moving-in inspection allows the landlord to identify problems that needs to be addressed and rectified prior to a tenant moving in. And also allows a tenant to discover damages and problems so that he is not held liable for property damage.
Without the inspection, it is near impossible to ascertain whether a specific issue transpired before, during or after a tenancy.
Recognizing the significance of the inspection, it goes without saying that it should be documented in written form.
And include the following areas of the house:
◆ Living room
◆ Front and back yard
◆ Decks and patios
◆ Indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures
◆ Heating and cooling systems (boiler or furnace)
◆ Every bedroom
◆ Every bathroom
◆ Doors to every room
◆ Main and back door
◆ Condition of fixtures
◆ Condition of walls, flooring, ceiling
◆ Garage (if any)
◆ Basement (if any)
◆ Swimming pool (if any)
This is not the time to shortchange yourself and be too general using broad definitions in the checklist.
You should also remind a tenant how important this step is.
Don’t for a moment wish that a tenant misses out something so that you can charge him for it later on. You will only be inviting conflict.
Some landlords even go the extra mile in recording the inspection on video just in case.
Remember that leaving things vague can come back to bite you one day.
Tenants are not stupid. And if you allow them the opportunity to fleece you, there is every chance that they might grab it.