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  • Writer's pictureSasha Struthers

The Importance of the Move-In/ Move-Out Inspections

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

The Move-In and Move-Out inspections protect both the landlord and the tenant. The Move-In and Move-Out report are usually the same document, with a column dedicated to Move-In and mirror column dedicated to Move-Out. When done right this report is accompanied by photos and videos.

My dealings with habitability lawsuits, Section 8 inspections and housing inspections highlighted the importance of this report because it holds both sides accountable for the ongoing condition of a unit.

Landlords are usually held to higher standards of care when it comes to residential housing, putting the burden on the landlord to keep a unit "habitable." Habitability is usually defined by state law, with local laws being the most strict.

Additionally, the Move-In report is crucial when tenants make repair requests for damages they caused to the unit. Having a good Move-In report with photos and videos substantiates your pass through of repairs that are permissible to pass on to tenants when they caused the damage. Landlords lose a lot of money each year to R&M that is the result of tenant negligence. Good record keeping of the unit's conditions at Move-In and each time a repair is done makes it challenging for a tenant to dispute charges.

The Move-In/ Move-Out report keeps a tenant honest when it comes to security deposit deductions or habitability claims. There are five main components to a Move-In/ Move-Out Inspection Report:

  • Date of the Report

  • Itemization of Rooms

  • Additional Notes

  • Tenant & Landlord Acknowledgement

  • Photos / Videos

When doing the walk through with the potential tenant or vacating tenant you go through the report and make notations about the rooms, such:

  • Walls

  • Floors

  • Counters

  • Hardware

  • Plumbing

  • Light Fixtures

  • Appliances

  • Doors

  • Windows

  • Cabinets

  • Furniture

  • Sinks

  • Showers/ Tubs

The notation next to each room or items is to mark the condition of the item on Move-In to be compared to the condition on Move-Out. Commons notations of condition include:

  • NEW- Brand New

  • CLN- Clean

  • STN- Stained

  • SCR- Scratched

  • REP- Needs Repair

  • RPL- Needs Replacement

  • F PNT- Needs Full Paint

  • T/U PNT- Needs Touch- Up Paint

  • F CLN- Needs Full Clean

  • T/U CLN- Needs Touch-Up Cleaning

Photos and video play a big part in the security deposit return because items that are returned stained, scratched, need repair or replacement must be substantiated with proof. A before and after photo can be very compelling in the event a security deposit itemization is challenged. As always, recording keeping is very key.

Everyone Loves Free! So here are some free things you can do to get informed. Subscribe to my newsletter at Subscribe to my Youtube Follow me on Twitter The information in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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