Move Out Inspection – Basic Information for Landlords

Property Management Blog

If you are a landlord, you must be aware of some basic practices, for instance, how to write a lease agreement, how to do the screening of the tenants, and how to make a move-out inspection. These seem very simple things, but they are very important too. Usually, property managers do not give them importance, and sometimes they have to face serious consequences. If you take care of these things, you can reduce stress, and chances of financial losses can also decrease.

Move-out inspection seems very simple. This article is for the guidance of landlords. You can get basic details about the move-out inspection here. It will also help you to understand how you can perform this duty.

Why do you need to do a Move out Inspection?

When the tenant informs the landlord or property manager that he is about the leave the unit, the landlord has to make a move-out inspection. Property managers visit the house and check the condition of the unit. You can do it in the presence of the tenant or without him. It will help you see any serious damage, other than normal wear and tear. You can also check if there is any alteration, which was not in your notice.

Move-out inspection is useful for the landlord and the renter as well. Tenants will know that there are no damages, and the landlord will not claim money for the damages. They will be sure that tenants will get his security deposit back, or there will be any deduction for the damages if any.

On the other hand, landlords can also avoid arguments with the tenants if there is any damage. You can show the damages to the renters and ask for the necessary deduction from the security deposit. If the tenant moves out before your inspection, it will be difficult for you to convince them about the damage they  have made. Moreover, you can plan repair and maintenance tasks before the arrival of the next tenant.

When should a landlord perform a move-out inspection?

You should check local laws regarding the move-out inspection. Inform the tenant about the inspection and fix the day with him. Doing it according to the local laws is very important to avoid any legal problems later. There is no ideal time for the move-out inspection. You can decide it according to the state laws or after a friendly discussion with your tenant. However, it the recommended to do it before the tenant leaves.

Should the tenant accompany the landlord for a move-out inspection?

Experts have different opinions about that. Some property experts say the move-out inspection should be done in the absence of the tenant. They say landlords do it in a hurry as they are not comfortable in the tenant's presence. Moreover, the renter can also try to hide some damages if he is with the landlord. Some property experts recommend it otherwise and say that you must make a tenant move-out inspection. If the landlord and tenant do it together, they can discuss the things in their face, and there will be no misunderstandings later. If you see any damages, you can discuss it with the renter on the spot, and you can find a solution with a conscience. However, laws do not force landlords to accompany tenants for the move-out inspection. So, it depends on you, do it the way you are comfortable.

How to conduct a move-out inspection?

There are no hard and fast rules for the move-out inspection. Everyone has his way of doing these things. However, if you are new and have not done it before, we have collected some important points for you. Following these few things will help you do this inspection effectively, and you will not face any problems during the process.

The first thing is to inform the tenant. You have to send him a notice about the date and time of the move-out inspection, and if you want them presence, you have to ask them to stay there, in the same notice. If the tenant still lives in your house, they must agree to your purpose's date. If they are not available on that date, you can change the date according to the availability of both of you. You can inform them by sending a written notice or an email, whatever is convenient.

You can make an inspection form before the move-out inspection. Many templates are available on different websites; you can use any suitable one. On the inspection day, do not forget to take your move-in inspection report. You can fill out the move-out form and compare it with the move-in report, making it easier. This is vital if your renter is leaving the property after few years. You will not remember the condition of the house years before; the move-in report will help you make a clear difference. You can evaluate some obvious damages, which are not part of wear and tear, and discuss the security deposit deduction.

Check the house thoroughly. Damage to the wooden floors, broken tiles in the bathroom, or countertop in the kitchen is where damage can be seen. Cabinet doors and windows also need your attention. Check the roof and garden as well. Don't miss the balcony and terraces; it's vital to inspect every corner of the house before the tenant leaves.

Once you are done with the inspection and have filled the inspection form, sign the form and ask the tenant for his signature. It will reflect that you both were present at the time of inspection, and both agree with the details of this move-out inspection form.

These are just some key points about a move-out inspection. You can make a complete report for your record. If you are a new landlord, do the inspection carefully, it can help you get rid of many problems.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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