If you wish to have a well-maintained rental home, it’s advisable to perform a walkthrough inspection with your new tenants. Walkthroughs ensure that you and your tenants are both aware of the state of the rental prior to the move-in.
Here are tips you can follow during an initial walk-through accompanied by your renter:
Make a Detailed Form
The form must be filled with details of each room and the condition the furnishings are in. There are available online templates for the form but you can just as easily create your own. This form will help mitigate any conflict about deductions from the security deposit.
Note down each room and separate it into sections such as floor, walls, window, door, light fixtures, and each piece of furniture. Appliances must be included in this list as well. Make space for additional notes where you can write down more information later. You may also need to record additional details on your list as you’re conducting the walkthrough.
Divide the form into columns next to the items so you can jot down the condition during the move-in, move-out, and the fees for cleaning, replacement, or repair if there are damages found.
Don’t forget to add a signature area at the end where you and the tenant can sign. When the walkthrough is done, you can affix your signature and record the date. A personal copy must be provided to the renter.
Jointly Visit the Property
Create a scheduled time with the tenant to do the property walk-through. The objective is to view it together and record the state of each room and its elements. This can prevent future conflicts as you’ve seen the condition of the property together.
Another objective is to manage the expectations. You can discuss what you categorize as damages against wear and tear. It’s imperative that the tenant attends the move-in walkthrough, but the move-out property inspection can be skipped by the tenant later on.
Simplify the Process
Avoid complicating the walkthrough inspection process. You want to avoid a situation where the tenants will change their minds and decide not to follow through with renting.
If you focus too much on every tiny flaw, the renter may feel nervous that they’ll be asked to pay for all types of damage. Steer clear from over-documenting when performing a walkthrough. Keep the inspection period around 20 minutes.
Document with Pictures or Videos
It’s smart to snap a photo or record a video when conducting a property walkthrough. It’s advisable to take a general overview of the room and snap a photo encompassing the room.
Then a close-up image should also be taken to note down the state of the item or different parts of the property. Videos are also helpful since you can easily show them to the tenant if a dispute happens. It’s best to organize the photos and store them digitally so you’ll always have a copy for comparison during the move-out inspection.
Conduct a Walkthrough Before the Tenant Arrives
It’s an advantage to look over the tiny details on your own. You can inspect each item or room thoughtfully. You’ll also have time to observe whether every system is in functional order or if it needs maintenance and repairs.
Switch on the cooling and heating system and check the water pressure. Open and shut windows and lock and unlock doors to ensure that nothing is sticking or broken. Be meticulous in all areas. You want a tenant to trust you and be impressed with how well the property is managed.
As you’re doing the official walkthrough with the tenant, make sure that they are in full agreement with you regarding the state of each item in the rental. It will be hard for the tenant to deny later that something is amiss or not functioning well if you have documentary proof that they were okay with it during the inspection.
Allow a Grace Period for the Tenant
Provide the tenant with enough time to find out if there are property issues. Allot a minimum of 3 days, and if the tenant can voice a legitimate concern, then note it in writing and include photos.
This ensures that you’ve covered all property issues. Sometimes, it may escape your notice whether something is working well or not unless continuously used. Initially, an oven may seem to work fine and switch on, but later on, it might not heat up past a certain point. This is the reason it’s important to set up a grace period for the renters to report any issues they come across while staying in your unit.
Remain Updated with Landlord-tenant Laws in Your State
Different states differ in terms of fixed periods for notices and security deposit amounts. It’s essential to review the landlord-tenant laws and check whether you’re compliant. Your lease should also adhere to local regulations.
If you deviate from the state law, you might be faced with a lawsuit. One of the best options is to hire a property manager that can craft the leasing agreement for you and perform the walkthrough on your behalf.
A property walkthrough inspection is a great way to ensure that the rental unit stays in great condition. It can also help to mitigate issues during the tenancy to keep tenants happy. If you need help conducting a walkthrough consider hiring a professional property management company.
Due to the frequency of walkthroughs that they perform, they can easily detect if something is amiss. They can also get your unit rent-ready quickly so you can gain a steady income. With a property manager as your professional support system, you can easily avoid costly mistakes and protect your business.
Contact Haas Properties if you’d like help with all this and more! We offer outstanding property management services including filling property vacancies, screening tenants, collecting rent promptly, and keeping up with the maintenance of your investment property.