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Congrats!  New tenants are soon to occupy your rental property.  As move-in approaches, send the move-in checklist so your tenants can prepare to move into the rental.

Check out our Landlord Resources page for the free Tenant Move In Checklist.

Why landlords and tenants need a move-in and move-out checklist?

The main purpose of a move-in and move-out checklist is documentation.  These lists help track the condition of your rental property.

As a landlord, a security deposit will protect against damages.  Move-out checklists keep the tenants accountable for damages during their stay.  It is easier for landlords with a well-documented move-in checklist to confirm damage caused by the current tenants.

There are two distinct times that this checklist is important.  When tenants are moving in or moving out.  As a side note, understand the difference between damage and normal wear and tear.

 

What’s included in Burbz move-in checklist?

It is best to organize your move-in checklist by room.  We focus on the specifics that each room has.  For example, the kitchen checklist includes appliances and cabinets.  While our bathroom checklist contains items for toilets, baths, and racks.

Rooms included on our tenant walk through checklist:

  • Family
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Master Bedroom
  • Bedroom #1 through 3
  • Master Bathroom
  • Guest Bathroom
  • Yard
  • Garage
  • Laundry

Our property inspection checklist also has space at the bottom for additional notes.  Along with a signature for tenants to acknowledge the current condition.

 

How to record the condition of your rental property?

Our checklist allows landlords to indicate the condition by:

S = Satisfactory

NA = Not Applicable

NC = Needs Cleaning

NP = Needs Painting

NR = Needs Repair

SC = Scratched

RP = Needs Replacing

 

When to send the move-in checklist to your tenants?

It is best to review the rental property before the tenants move in.  Therefore, scheduling a move-in inspection should occur before the tenants move in.  Landlords must wait for the previous tenants to move out. Perform their move-out inspection and then send the move-in inspection to the new renters.

For new tenants, send the inspection from 3-7 days before their move-in date.  Give them 3 days after moving in to submit the inspection form.

 

When to send the move out checklist to your tenants?

For tenants moving out, more time is required. 

Remind the tenants 2-4 weeks before their lease expires by sending their original move-in inspection list.  This opportunity allows them to address any items that need to be corrected.

After the walkthrough checklist has been completed, indicate which items are damaged or need replacing.  The landlord or property manager can add an estimated cost.  This cost should be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit.

 

How to get your property move-in ready?

The transition between old and new renters is a key period to address your rental properties needs.  Time is of the essence so the new tenants can move-in.

It is important to perform the move-out inspection for the previous renters.  Then schedule for any repairs that need to be addressed.

Offer the previous renters a courtesy inspection 2-4 weeks before their lease ends.  This is your chance to address potential repairs.  By inspecting early, you can start to schedule contractors earlier.  This is not the official move-out inspection.  Indicate it is a courtesy.

 

How to prepare for new renters

Between renters, get your rental property back into livable condition.  If items need to be replaced, do so between tenants.

The condition of your rental property is the first impression for tenants.  Your goal is keeping them satisfied so they stay longer than their lease.

If you used Burbz maintenance ticketing, you can set items to deferred.  Between tenants is a great time to address those deferred maintenance items.

 

Do landlords have to do a walk through?

Legally speaking, no. 

Landlords do not need to perform a move in inspection nor move out inspection.

However, the benefits far outweigh the cons.  Landlords that decide to forgo a rental walkthrough checklist when the tenants move in risk losing disputes about damages when tenants move out.  Having a move out checklist that identifies the move-in condition is important.

While landlords do not need to perform a move in or move out, it increases your risk exposure.  Therefore, we urge a move in move out inspection checklist.

 

Do move out checklist protect tenants?

As a renter, you are given a chance to identify all the damaged property when renting a house.  Take the time to thoroughly review your move in checklist.  Schedule a time to do the walkthrough checklist with your landlord.

If you are moving into an apartment, expect one of the leasing agents to handle the apartment inspection checklist.  Sometimes a maintenance worker performs the walk-through.

A thorough rental checklist protects tenants at the move out if you do not damage any property.  This prevents a landlord from falsely blaming damage on you that was perhaps missed from the previous tenants.

 

What to do next?

Upon completion of the move in inspection checklist, share the document with the new renters.  Although it does not impact the actual condition of the property, landlords may also consider verifying the tenant’s insurance at this point.  At a minimum, they should have requested a renters insurance quote.

If you use Burbz, you can upload move in move out inspection form to your property profile.  Filed on the Documents tab.  Easy file keeping allows you to share with Co-Managers and Property Managers.

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