A move-in, move-out checklist can keep you on track whenever you welcome new tenants to your rental property. Learn what items belong on a landlord move-in checklist and a landlord move-out checklist, so you can set yourself up for a good relationship with new tenants, keep your rental properties looking their best, and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
What a Rental Move-In Checklist Covers
A typical rental move-in checklist covers every room in the rental, including exterior spaces like porches or entrance halls. Within every room, specific features are listed. This way, you can check off the condition of the hallway carpet or the bathroom floor tiles, noting any pre-existing damage in the comments section.
Many property owners take pictures or even video during a move-in inspection, which serve as visual proof of the unit’s condition at move-in. Such proof can help you prevail in a lawsuit over security deposit deductions.
Your renters must sign the move-in, move-out checklist, and receive a copy for their records.
When tenants move out, you will complete a move-out inspection and take another set of photos or videos. Using the same checklist, take notes showing the updated condition of all rooms and features. Move-out checklists often feature columns where you can note the cost of a necessary repair, such as the cost to spackle and paint over a damaged wall.
The Benefits of Using a Tenant Move-In and Tenant Move-Out Checklist
The checklist helps your renters stay focused during a move-out. If you have ever had to hire cleaners to turn over your apartment after tenants moved out, then you know how much time and money is involved in cleaning up after tenants who did not have time to properly clean the apartment. If you deduct money from the security deposit to cover your cleaning fees, you run the risk that a tenant could disagree with your decision.
When you completed a walk-through as the renter assumed tenancy, you have a written and visual record of the apartment’s condition at the origin of the lease. While you hope to avoid litigation, these provide proof of the unit’s condition before and after a tenant.
These checklists also prevent you from accidentally charging renters for a chipped tile or dinged wall that was already there.
If you decide to renovate, the checklist can help you determine which rooms or features need an update. This is especially useful for multiunit property owners, who may not remember what every rental in their portfolio needs.
Download Your Rental Inspection Checklist
American Apartment Owners Association members receive free and low-cost landlord forms, including a tenant move-in and move-out inspection checklist.
American Apartment Owners Association makes it easy to download a rental inspection checklist, which you can then customize for your apartment rental.
Disclaimer: All forms offered herein are provided only as a guide by the American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA). They have not been reviewed by legal counsel and no warranty, express or implied, is offered. AAOA suggests that you have local legal counsel that is familiar with current laws and ordinances review any forms prior to usage.