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Tip #129: Ready and Action!

cameraVideo technology has become so accessible that if a tenant is going to dispute deductions from their security deposit, the case will likely involve dueling videos.

Don’t get caught unprepared. Be sure to record the damage to the unit before you take the deductions–and have to answer for it later.

The video only needs to be 5 or 10 minutes long, but don’t rush the action–try to include a logical sequence of the entire unit, including floors and ceilings.

Check the light. Make sure you are shooting a clear video. Watch it before you store it away so there is still time to re-shoot if you are not happy with the quality.

Make certain it is date-stamped. Write the date on the label or computer file as well.

The video alone may not convince a judge–you will still want to make notes, and save receipts to show if need be.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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  • Jim

    My experience has been that clear photos of the “issue areas” or damage are more useful in court than a video. I had a tenant come to court with a video camera and the judge refused to look at it, took my pictures and began questioning the tenant. I have a page in my lease that documents the condition of the apartment including the miniblinds, paint and cleanliness of all appliances, flooring and sinks etc. which gets signed before keys are received by tenant. Eliminates the age old comment “it was there when I moved in”….Works well for me.

    Jim E, NH

  • Carol

    Appreciate the tip re documentation by tenant of condition of apartment on move-in date, which could be quite important with long-term tenants. Some conditions can be
    hidden from a landlord who is making occasional, relatively quick inspection (pictures hung over holes in walls, etc.) where everything appears to be OK. Carol in NH

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