Landlord Blog

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Doing a Walk-Through Inspection Before a Tenant Moves In

After you have drafted your lease, exchanged it with a tenant, and received your first month's rent, you can now set an appointment for the move-in date. Right before a tenant moves in, it is important to conduct a walk-through inspection to make sure that everything in your property is in good condition. 

On this topic, several questions arise:

1. How do you handle the walk-through inspection?

2. What is the best way to do the walk-through inspection?

3. What are the general areas that need to be included in your walk-through inspection checklist?

Let's talk about the first of these 3 questions. How do you handle the walk-through inspection?

You and your tenants need to take note of any issues together during the inspection. This will save you from a future dispute just in case damages occur which weren't really there when the tenant first moved in. As much as possible, you want to avoid or reduce the likelihood of an argument over what you've deducted from the security deposit. 

Tenants may live in your property for years and will somehow forget the original condition of your unit. For example, while you remember X number of cracks, a tenant of yours remembers none. Everything about the walk-through inspection should be documented to avoid discrepancy. Also, you and your tenants have something to refer to later on if a disagreement happens. 

To ensure a successful walk-through process, you need to take the following with you:

1. Camera (digital camera, smartphone, etc.)

If you do not have access to a camera, make sure to borrow one from someone you know. Take pictures during the inspection so that you have visual proof of the tour. Take photos in good lighting to ensure accurate documentation. 

2. Walk-through checklist (Can be downloaded in this module)

A walk-through checklist or property condition form should be completed by you and your tenant as you inspect every aspect of the rental unit. By signing this important checklist, a landlord and tenant both acknowledge that everything that has been examined during the inspection has been documented. Should there be a disagreement, you can always refer to this signed assessment. 

Existing Landlord Prep students can download a copy of the walk-through checklist in this module. 

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled Between Tenants - Move-In Process & Inspections - Property Walk-Through Inspection.

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section, download the walk-through checklist, and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay knowledgeable and confident as a landlord.