Condition inspection reports, or move-in and move-out forms, are an extremely useful tool for landlords. In fact, you may be surprised to see how much can be accomplished with these forms.
By using condition inspection reports at move-in and move-out, landlords can:
1. Confirm that the rental unit is ready for move-in, and that workers or vendors who were tasked with restoring the unit did their jobs.
2. Discover and document any latent damage that the last tenant left behind.
3. Create a baseline for determining if the new tenant causes any damage.
4. Track routine maintenance needs throughout the life of the rental unit. That helps with budgeting, as well as a subsequent sale of the property.
5. Use the documents to prove the right to take deductions from a tenant’s security deposit, or to seek a judgement against the particular tenants for property damage.
6. Comply with the law! Several provinces require the condition inspection report before a landlord legally can take deductions or pursue a tenant for damages.
Tips for completing condition inspection reports:
Use the same form for each tenancy, and for both move-in and move-out so you show a direct comparison.
Make notes on the forms.
Take photos or video to substantiate the reports.
Allow the tenant to make notations on the forms.
Conduct the inspections with tenants present, and have tenants sign the forms.
At move-in, allow the new tenant a few days to amend the form in the event they find additional items to report. This simple step helps establish trust with the new tenant, flag needed repairs before the costs increase, and challenge any frivolous allegations regarding the condition of the property that a bad tenant might raise at a later time.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.