Landlord Basics: Move In Move Out Condition Inspection Reports

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

Tenants come, tenants go.  Over the course of your career as a real estate investor, you’ll likely see a lot of tenants come and go, both good and bad.  Being able to protect yourself when a new tenant comes and an old tenant leaves is important, especially when it comes to returning the security deposit.  Having a move in and move out condition inspection reports will help you document the state of a rental before and after tenant use.

A condition inspection report will cover the status of every room in a rental, in great detail.  Everything from walls, floors and ceiling, to windows, doors, and closets should be inspected for damages, to ensure working order, and cleanliness before a tenant moves in and again after the tenant leaves.  Discrepancies can then be charged against the tenants security deposit, to help cover the cost of repairs, cleaning, and replacements.  Appliances should also be

In addition to a condition inspection report, photos should be taken of each room, and those photos should be saved digitally and preferably prints made as well.  Comparing photos before and after is often easier than comparing two sheets of paper, sometimes several years apart, to determine what you meant when you wrote something down.  In addition, photographic evidence of the unit before and after may be admissable in eviction or small claims court if the need arises.

Move In and Move Out Condition Inspection Reports are an important part of any landlord or investor tool kit, and should be implemented as part of your move in and move out systems.  Later this week, I’ll be posting a sample report which you can use!

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