As a landlord, it’s essential that you perform rental inspections and record everything in a Residential Inspection Report when a tenant moves in or out of your property. Rental inspections ensure that you and your tenant are aware of the rental property’s condition at the beginning and end of a lease.
Since an inspection report documents any and all issues related to the property, expectations are set for your tenant on what condition you expect them to keep the property in, and it also gives you a chance to address any last-minute problems or repairs with the property before your tenant settles in.
In this post, we explore three ways that having a detailed Rental Inspection Report can help protect you as a landlord.
1. Record the Condition of the Property Before the Tenant Moves in
Before the tenant moves in, you should perform a walk-through of the property together. This will give you and your tenant a chance to make sure the property is ready for them to move into.
By recording the condition of the property before the tenant moves in, you can help prevent disputes about damage that existed before your tenant lived there, and what damages were caused by your tenant.
Some examples of existing damage that you could record in the inspection report are:
- Chipped paint, marks, holes, or scratches on walls or floors
- Torn or stained carpet
- Damage to fixtures, such as a cracked sink, toilet, or bathtub
- Gouges or holes in doors or baseboards
In addition to writing a detailed description of the existing property damage in your Rental Inspection Report, you may also want to take pictures for your own reference.
2. Record the Condition of the Property Before the Tenant Moves Out
When your tenant is ready to move out, you should refer to the same Rental Inspection Report you used when your tenant moved in, as most include a section for a move-out inspection.
The purpose of the move-out inspection is to compare any damages that you find to what you recorded in your move-in inspection report to see when the damages occurred. For example, if there are damages to the property that weren’t recorded in the move-in inspection, they were likely caused by the tenant during their rental period.
It’s important to note that regular wear and tear, such as worn carpet, small holes in the walls from hanging pictures, or other minor damage caused by regular use of the property is generally not considered something that you can charge your tenant for.
Helps Prevent Disputes about Security Deposits
Keeping clear records of the condition of your property can help prevent disputes over whether the security deposit should be returned to the tenant or not.
For instance, if your tenant denies that they caused damage to the property, you can show them the Rental Inspection Report that they signed when they moved in. Doing so will illustrate that you are simply comparing the damage that was present when they moved in to the damage that exists now.
Keep in mind that each state has its own laws regarding when and if a landlord can keep a tenant’s security deposit, so be sure to stay up-to-date with your jurisdiction’s requirements.
Rental Inspection Report
It’s important to have a Rental Inspection report that records the condition of your property before your tenant moves in, and when they move out. Your Rental Inspection Report provides peace of mind for you and your tenant, so you are both on the same page when it comes to the condition of the rental.