A Quick Guide to Move-In and Move-Out Checklists for Rental Property Owners

Regardless of whether an old tenant is leaving the property, or a brand-new tenant is moving in, you need to ensure that everything is in good condition. You don’t want to be left with costly damages to fix and new tenants don’t want to move into a property that’s subpar. This is why move in and move out checklists are so important for rental property owners. By carrying out a property inspection, you reduce your liability for damage, and you avoid security deposit disputes further down the line. You can compare the move in and move out checklist when a tenant moves out, which will clearly highlight any damage that has occured during their stay. Below you will find some of the key things to include in your move in and move out checklists, as well as the best practices to follow.

Tips For Filling Out Move In and Move Out Checklists

You should always include the tenants’ name, the address of the property and the date of the previous inspection on the checklist. It’s also a good idea to note who did the last inspection, as any confusion or discrepancies can be raised with them.

Take the tenant around the property while you fill out the move in checklist, as this allows them to see the condition of the property and they can ask any questions. It’s also a good idea to take photographs of each area of the property and file them away, as this can be used for comparison when it’s time for the move out checklist. If a tenant argues that damage existed before they moved in, a photograph is proof that it didn’t. Once the move in checklist has been completed, it should be signed by yourself and every tenant on the lease. You and the tenants should have a copy of the move in checklist, as they will need to refer to this when it’s time for them to move out.

You can complete a move out checklist without the tenants, but they will need to complete their own checklist and submit it to you before leaving. The two move out checklists can then be compared, and any differences considered. Alternatively, you and the tenants can complete the move out checklist together. Though normal wear and tear is to be expected, damage beyond this should be noted.

Things to Include in Move In and Move Out Checklists

There are a lot of obvious things to include in a move in and move out checklist, such as have the carpets been damaged and are the window treatments in good condition. It’s important to include everything, in every single room. Organise the checklists by room and then detail everything in that room, including the minor things that may initially go unnoticed. Don’t simply note down carpets and window treatments once if they appear in more than one room. However, there are a lot of things that many landlords still forget about.

Kitchen Appliances: You should check whether the kitchen appliances are clean, working and without any missing parts. Test each appliance yourself to ensure nothing has been overlooked. A checklist should also include the fridge, oven and microwave detailing if they are clean and working. Garbage disposals, washing machine and dishwasher should all be checked also.

Bathroom Fixtures: Check that everything in the bathroom has been cleaned, including the toilet and shower. Ensure all bathroom fixtures are working correctly, the faucets are working and the toilet flushes. It’s also a good idea to check the water pressure in the bathroom, as poor water pressure could be a sign of an underlying problem.

Safety: When a tenant moves out, all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be in good working order. Additionally, check to see if the batteries need replacing.

Aesthetics: A lot of landlords don’t give enough thought to the aesthetics of a property when a tenant moves out, even though these are the things that could attract another tenant. Check to see all blinds, curtains, carpets and walls are clean and free from damage. If there are things left in the cabinets and refrigerator, ensure the tenant removes them and thoroughly cleans afterwards.

Don’t underestimate the importance of move in and move out checklists, as they are a vital part of protecting your property and ensuring you are not liable for any damage caused by tenants. Move in and move out checklists also reduce the number of disputes surrounding security deposits, something that could end up costing you money. If you are not confident in handling tenants moving in and moving out, consider asking a property management service for help.