Today we are talking about the move in inspection report. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of an accurately completed move in inspection report that is signed and dated by you and your tenant. It’s mandatory that you and your tenant both sign these forms. The safest approach is making the assumption that everything will end up in court. Having clear and concise documentation that details everything will certainly mitigate this potentiality.
Inspect With Your Tenant
Conducting inspections with the tenant present is critical. I recommend taking pictures and/or videos with your tenants in them, and add those to your documentation. Having the full cooperation in filling out the forms properly will forestall any future claims of ignorance after the fact.
Conducting the inspection with the tenant also provides an opportunity to interact with them at the property. You can show them certain property details such as where and how to turn off the water mains, how to work the thermostat and how to double check smoke detectors. Showing the tenants you are familiar with all aspects of the property indicates your competency and demonstrates that you expect a similar level of responsibility from them.
Tenants are paying you for the privilege and rights associated with living in your property. So, it’s in everyone’s best interests to work together in filling out the inspection forms. The move in form should also be property specific. It must include every room and every item within the unit, including carpets, stoves and any other appliances. It should also note the condition of the paint on the walls and ceilings in every room and the condition of the window coverings and the floors. Document the light fixtures and door hardware.
In each room, such as the kitchen, note the condition of the countertops and the garbage disposal and the cabinets. In the bathroom, do the same thing and include the tub, sinks and shower and mirror. All these things should be included in the report.
Documenting Move In Details
This inspection is also a good time to demonstrate how the heating and air conditioning units work. The report should include all pertinent information, such as how many keys were given out and any remotes for garage doors. If there is a barbeque, patio furniture or hoses, those should be included in the report.
If you haven’t already done so at the lease signing, this is a good time to provide a list of utility companies so you can facilitate the transfer of utilities into the tenant’s name. It’s also a good time to explain that you expect the property will be surrendered in substantially the same condition, and if not, what the consequences are.
This may seem time consuming, but it’s an effective step in the management of the property and it will save you headaches and dollars down the road.
If you have any questions regarding move in inspections or property management, please contact us at Bayside Management.