The move in / move out inspection report is a report that lists every room in the house and describes any flaws that were noticed at the time of move in. These flaws are documented room by room and will make the move out process much easier. This process is one of the single most important steps to the move in process. If you are the meticulous type, you won’t want to miss this step! If you manage your own properties or someone else’s this documentation is essential to the move out. Taking pictures to go along with these notes on the report will also help you or any judge determine the condition a home was in at the time the tenants moved in. I’m not talking about normal wear & tear. I’m talking about actual damages caused by neglect or purposely damaged.
The process is simple to follow and will insure that you have what you need when the tenants move out. When moving a tenant in, I like to do my signings right at the house the day of or a day before their scheduled move in date. We sign all the paperwork, go over all the terms, addendum’s, check smoke alarms and lastly we go through the house and document any existing damages or flaws on the move in/out condition report, take pictures or walk through with a a video camera if necessary, and sign and date the form. Tenants are given one extra week after move in to add to this form should they see something that may have been missed. Have them put it in writing and attach the note to the existing signed condition report.
Some owners can become offended by such a report thinking its a crap shoot of their home. The important thing to remember here is all homes have flaws. Just because a home has flaws doesn’t mean the house is in poor shape. Sometimes you don’t become aware of those flaws until you live there. You may notice a scratch on the woodwork, a missing knob, a crack in the ceiling from settling, the window doesn’t lock or there is a small crack in the glass that was missed, a problem with the blind, etc. These are the items that at move out a tenant could be charged for if not documented at move in.
After the tenants have moved out you will be able to compare the notes on the report and the pictures with the condition of the home. There will always be normal wear & tear. Be careful not to charge tenants for heavy traffic areas or areas of wear from normal use. If you do find damages take a picture and get a quote for the cost to repair so you can deduct the correct amount from the tenants security deposit.
If you use this procedure with all of your tenants it will make the move in and the move out procedure much easier! Tenants will also know up front that you have documented all damages and that you will be using the evidence to compare when they move out. So now, you won’t be afraid of your next move in or move out… So let’s get moving!