Inspecting your property between tenants is crucial if you don’t want to have to pay for damages you discover later.
Your tenant signs the lease and without hesitation you hand over the keys with the move-in/inspection checklist. “Get this back to me as soon as you can and let me know if anything is wrong,” you say. Sound familiar?
Too many landlords ignore the crucial step of property inspections between tenants. However, the effort to accurately document damages to your property between renters can make recovering repair costs much easier, saving you from having to pay for the damaged item yourself, and protecting you should a dispute turn into litigation.
Here are a few tips to ensuring a thorough and proper inspection:
Document the entire property, inside and out: Walk through the rental with your tenant(s) and record any noticeable damages. Your presence will ensure the tenants are not left alone to wander and document defects. Make sure the checklist inspection sheet provides room to make notes for every area of the property. Document: Maintenance Checklist
Take pictures or video: Photos will document the general condition of the unit and expose any areas that the tenants may dispute later. It’s always a good idea to take pictures after each tenant with a time stamp on them. If that’s not always possible, take pictures annually and store in a safe place.
Send a clear message: It is important for both parties to sign the inspection sheet. Without using words, you are sending a clear message to your tenants about their responsibilities to care for your property.
Prevent pet stains: If you do not allow critters on the property, make a clear statement by using a pet urine stick to test the carpets. It’s highly recommended to test for pet urine upon move-in and checkout to ensure your no-pet policy was obeyed.
By properly inspecting your unit with the tenant, you are protecting your valuable investment and making a bold statement to your tenant that it is their responsibility for damage. You will save yourself lot of money and properly prepare to defend yourself should a bitter dispute arise.
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