When renting out a property, it is essential to have a checklist to review before and after a tenant occupies your space. Whether you just oversee the property or own the property, going through the checklist as the tenant leaves could prevent serious financial losses. Make sure there are no major problems, and be sure to check out the details as well.
As you begin the move-out inspection, look for general things, such as condition of the walls and carpets. You want to ensure there are no holes in the walls or excessive wear on the paint. In addition, check the hardwoods and carpets to ensure the cleanliness.
On the outside of the property, check that the appearance has been maintained. The yard should be in a similar state as it was when the renters moved into the home. All shutters and windows should be in good condition. According to Total Real Estate Solutions, you should also check the condition of the mailbox, locks and receive all keys back from the tenant.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
There are specific items to inspect in the kitchen and bathrooms. Check that all kitchen appliances work. Check all of the parts are still intact. For example, ensure both oven racks are still in place, and the refrigerator has all of its shelves. Look for chips or cracks in appliances, countertops and floors.
In the bathroom, you will need to ensure the bathtub, showers, sinks and toilets work properly and that the tub stoppers are still in place. Also check for any leaks and verify the caulking is still in good condition. Lastly, check to make sure the exhaust fan still works.
Mechanics of the House
There are many things that need to be checked that may not meet the eye. Check the heating and air conditioning functions to verify that both work. Check furnace filters to verify the unit has been properly cared for by the tenant.
Check all windows, ensuring they still open and close, and also make sure any window furnishings that came with the property, such as curtains, drapes or blinds remain in good condition. Lastly, Total Real Estate Solutions recommend verifying all lighting is still in good condition, as well as electrical outlets and smoke detectors.
When performing a move-out inspection, it is wise to use the same checklist you used when the tenant moved into the rental property. This allows you to review notes of the condition of particular items, if questions arise.
For free checklists, visit websites such as Washington State Office of Attorney General and Prairie State Legal Services.
Erika Bryant worked with Channel 2 news in Atlanta, GA for a year. Bryant has also written for her college newspaper, "The Signal", a neighborhood newsletter, and Firehow.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Georgia State University.