A tenant walk-through inspection is a process where landlords take new tenants around their property to examine and take note of the property’s condition prior to the tenant moving in.
Conducting walkthrough inspections with your new tenants is a great way to protect you as the property owner and prevent property damage.
Before conducting a move-in or yearly walkthrough inspection, you can review the following tips!
Operate From a List
A well-prepared list will come in handy during your walkthrough because it will ensure that you don’t miss or overlook any important areas on your property. Your list should have all the rooms on the property listed alongside any notable furnishings, appliances, and other features.
Be sure to leave space in each section of your list so you can take notes regarding the move-in condition of the property. You can use these notes to compare the state of the property at move-in to the state of the property when the tenant moves out.
This list will also give you an idea of any maintenance or repairs you’ll have to make before the tenant rents the property. Some things to keep an eye out for during a move-in inspection include loose door handles, window seals, leaky faucets, ceiling fans and other light fixtures.
Before filing this list in your records, be sure to date the document and have it signed by the tenant and the landlord or property management company. Each individual who has signed the document should receive a copy of the finalized list for their records.
Conduct the Walk-Through With Your Tenant
When you do your walkthrough, make sure that your tenant is able to be there with you for the whole process. Doing so will ensure that as you go through each room together you can set clear expectations as to how the property should be left when the tenant moves out.
This in the long term will prevent potential disagreements when it’s time for the tenant to move out. While conducting your inspection, you can even highlight the differences between property damage and normal wear and tear.
Keep it Simple
It’s important to keep the walk-through process as simple as possible to prevent confusion or future disagreements. Your list should be to the point and clearly organized.
Real estate professionals are aware that dragging out the initial walkthrough can overwhelm tenants, which means they’ll be less likely to trust you as the landlord or renew their lease.
We recommend keeping your walkthrough to about twenty minutes as this will give you enough time to inspect the property for any existing issues without overwhelming your new renters.
Use Photos and Videos
Photographs and videos are the best way to document the condition of your property as they can be reviewed later on and directly compared with the state of the property when the tenant chooses to move out.
Any existing damage should be captured and filed appropriately both physically and digitally. This way, the tenant can be held accountable for any damage they cause but won’t be penalized for the issues they didn’t cause.
Not only will having this documentation allow you to save time when assessing any property damages when the tenant is ready to move out but it will also serve you well should your tenant disagree with any new damage found during their move-out walkthrough.
Give the Tenant Time to Discover Other Issues
Sometimes, it’s impossible to find issues on your property prior to your tenant moving in. For instance, a washing machine or dishwasher may have a leak you need to repair but your tenant will only be able to discover it once they use the appliance.
Additionally, providing your tenant with a grace period will improve your relationship with your tenant and keep them happy early in their tenancy. If you have a good relationship with your renters they are more likely to bring issues to your attention before they have a chance to escalate.
Expert property managers recommend giving the tenant at least three days to notice any issues and raise their concerns. This new information can also be collected and later used during move-out to avoid any disagreements or conflicts.
RentEasy is an expert property management firm located in Chesapeake, Virginia. Our team of property managers is prepared to handle any issues that arise on your property including taking care of tenant complaints and emergency maintenance and repair services.
We work hard to ensure that landlords and property owners can minimize their expenses and maximize their return on investment by implementing strategies that prevent short and long-term losses.
These strategies include offering a free rental analysis, performing regular maintenance and repairs on the property, optimizing advertising and marketing operations, screening and placing tenants, and handling any and all legal aspects of property ownership.
With us as your partner, your tenants in Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk will be well taken care of!