The move-in process is full of details and documentation for both the owner and the tenant. While you’ll need to pay attention to things like collecting the security deposit and the first month’s rent and ensuring the lease agreement is signed and understood, the most important part of this process is your inspection.
A move-in inspection report is required to document the condition of your property and protect you against any tenant disputes at the end of the lease term, when you’re making a claim against the security deposit for damages and cleaning. You’ll want to document what the property looks like at the beginning and the end of the tenancy.
We recommend a checklist during the move-in process, and these are the things that should be on it.
Checklist Item: Maintenance Needs
Do a thorough walk-through of your property to make sure everything is functional and ready for the tenant. The first thing on your condition checklist should be any repairs that need to be made before the move-in date. Take care of even the little things. Have chipped paint taken care of and make sure all the outlets work. Test every appliance and turn on the water in each faucet.
It’s likely you’ve already done this, but do it again during the inspection so you can note on your condition report that everything is in good working order. This will also eliminate any early maintenance requests and show your new residents that the care and condition of your property is important to you.
If there are any repairs that need to be made, get your vendors lined up before the move-in date. All work should be completed before your tenant takes possession of the home.
Checklist Item: Cleanliness
A clean home is important, not only because tenants deserve to move into a property that’s free of dirt and debris but also because you expect to get the home returned in clean condition at the end of the lease term. Use your move-in condition checklist to confirm that floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets are free of dirt, debris, and dust.
Hire professional cleaners to take care of every detail before the tenant moves in, and make sure your checklist reflects that all standards of cleanliness have been met.
Checklist Item: Resident Sign Off
The most important reason to use a move-in checklist is that this will allow you to document the condition of your property. This is essential, because you’ll use the same checklist to compare how the property looks at the end of the lease term. This will impact whether the security deposit is returned in full, in part, or not at all.
Take excellent pictures and even videos. Write up descriptions and make notes. Share the checklist with your tenants when they move in. You’ll want to provide your tenants with the opportunity to make any of their own observations on the condition of the property at move-in. Keep this in your records and refer to it when you’re inspecting the property at move-out.
A move-in checklist protects you and it protects your property. It also helps your residents because they shouldn’t be held responsible for pre-existing issues that may be present in the home. We can help you with this or any of your Arcadia property management needs. Contact us at ZenPro Property Management.