How To Conduct a Tenant Walkthrough Inspection
To ensure that your rental home remains in good condition when a tenancy ends, it’s important to perform a walkthrough inspection. Landlords who are meticulous when conducting an initial property walkthrough tend to encourage renters to keep the rental in great shape!
Walkthroughs are beneficial for both landlords and their tenants. Here are some recommendations that will make your walkthrough plan as effective as possible!
Prepare a Form
Design a form that lists the rooms on the property and any other indoor or outdoor areas. This will help you make detailed notes and prevent you from overlooking parts of the property. You can either copy templates of walkthrough forms online or create your own.
Each room must be listed and divided into sections detailing each part of the room including, doors, windows, floors, walls, appliances, and furniture. Next to each item, you can write the move-in condition and move-out condition and any estimated cleaning fees or repair charges.
Don’t forget to leave space for your own signature and the tenant’s. After the walkthrough is done. You can write the date, sign, and give a copy for the tenant to keep.
Visit the Property Jointly
Prior to the renter moving into your property, it’s important to arrange a time to do a walkthrough together with your new tenant. Doing this ensures all parties will be on the same page regarding the rental’s condition and diminishes the chance of potential conflicts when the renter leaves.
Another reason to inspect the property with the tenants is that it sets your expectations clearly. This is a good time to teach your renter how property damage differs from normal wear and tear.
Move-in walkthroughs must be fully participated in by tenants. On the other hand, move-out walkthroughs are not necessary for the renter to attend since repairs and professional cleaning are often already completed at that point.
Keep it Simple
Making your process straightforward will ensure your tenants know they made the right choice when choosing to rent your property! If you make your walkthrough too complicated by pointing out all the tiny details, the renter may have second thoughts.
Being excessively detail-oriented can cause the renter to feel anxiety or pressure to maintain the property as it exactly is. Remember, there are no perfect homes, and wear and tear is normal! Over-documenting can also require excess time and energy. A good guideline to follow is to complete your walkthrough in 20-30 minutes.
Take Pictures and Videos
It’s vital to document your walkthrough inspections using a camera or smartphone. You can start by taking quality pictures of each room as a whole. You can also take close-up photos of any existing damage.
Date stamping is also a helpful feature. Assign labels to each picture and make sure to have a backup digital copy. Having photos to review can be supportive evidence in the event a tenant states that property damage already existed prior to their move-in date.
Some landlords are extra vigilant and record footage of the entire walkthrough with the tenant. This can help curb disagreements and leads to less stress for all parties.
Perform a Preliminary Property Inspection
Walkthroughs shouldn’t be superficial. You can’t only focus on carpet stains and broken appliances. Testing and inspecting all aspects of your property before the tenant walkthrough is a good idea!
This way, you can catch potential issues, such as water damage, before a tenant moves in and prevent maintenance requests or complaints. This creates a good relationship at the onset since trust between you and your tenant is already established.
Test all the appliances, air conditioners and heating systems to ensure they’re functional. Evaluate the water pressure and flush the toilets. Open and close all the windows, doors, and blinds. Being meticulous in this inspection will pay off in the long run!
Otherwise, you may disappoint your new renter and create the impression that you don’t care much about the rental home or your tenant’s comfort. Proper testing will also help you save on repair costs.
Provide a Grace Period
Allotting a grace period for tenants to find problems is highly recommended! We suggest providing the tenant with three days to advise on any existing property issues. You can then document their findings with notes and photos.
This practice is considered reasonable in the industry. After all, you can’t really be 100% sure if something is in a fully working condition until it’s being used daily. For example, the microwave may switch on, but the heating process may not work when operated. It’s only fair to offer a grace period for your tenant to find these kinds of issues!
Know Your Province’s Landlord-Tenant Laws
State laws have stipulations that landlords must follow when performing move-in and move-out inspections. Landlord-tenant laws protect both the rights of the landlord and renter. These laws outline the responsibilities and rights of all parties on the lease. This is important if damages occur!
A security deposit can be used for repairs if the cause of the property damage is a result of tenant negligence or lease violations. Learning more about Landlord-Tenant Law will give you a better idea of how much to collect as a security deposit, where you can store the security deposit, and whether you can make deductions on it.
If you fail to abide by these laws, you might be faced with a lawsuit filed by your tenant. To prevent this from happening, you can hire a property management company to look out for your rental home. They have the expert resources and experience to perform frequent walkthroughs and protect your investment!
Conducting tenant walkthrough inspections is critical to your success as a landlord and can save you from accruing unexpected maintenance and repair costs down the road. However, keeping track of everything that needs to be inspected on your property can be difficult!
To ensure your property is kept in the best shape possible, reach out to Leenan Property Management today! Our skilled team will make sure walkthrough inspections are thorough and comprehensive!
Contact Leenan Property Management today for all of your property management needs.