Inspecting your Bellevue rental property before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out is critical to documenting the condition of your investment and holding your tenants accountable for any damage.
Make sure you have a consistent and detailed move-in and move-out checklist so you can avoid any disputes with your tenants after they move back and you’re deciding how much of the security deposit to return.
Move-In Checklist and Inspection
During the move-in process, you’re documenting the condition of your property and you’re also looking for anything that may need to be repaired or replaced. An inspection must include the interior and exterior of the property. Check the roof and the walkway, and make sure the doors are secure, the windows aren’t covered by bushes or overgrown branches, and there’s plenty of exterior lighting.
Inside, look under every sink and turn on every faucet. Flush the toilets and run the appliances. Make sure each electric outlet works and test the locks on every door and window. Inspect the condition of the floors, walls, and ceilings. Open and close every closet door and drawer. Check the knobs and hardware on your cabinets. Make sure each light bulb is functional and change the air filters.
Your checklist needs to include every detail of the property. You’ll want to note the condition of carpets and whether there are any chips or cracks in the countertops. No detail is too small.
Documenting Inspections with Photographs
Your checklist will be very important in keeping your process organized and consistent, and it will also help you remember what to look at while you’re inspecting your property. However, the checklist is only as good as the photographs that you have to support it. Make sure you take a lot of pictures before your tenant moves in. If you find yourself disagreeing about how something looked before the tenant took possession, you’ll be able to fall back on your photos. This evidence can also help you if you find yourself in court, defending yourself against a claim.
Move-Out Checklist and Inspection
After the tenant moves out of the property, you’ll conduct the same inspection you conducted at the beginning of the tenancy, and you’ll even use the same inspection checklist. If your tenant has taken good care of the property and it’s been well-maintained, everything should look the same as it did before move-in, except for the expected wear and tear issues.
Check everything you checked during the move-in inspection, and take the same pictures. You’ll be able to compare the condition of the home now to its condition then.
We know that understanding the difference between wear and tear and damage can often be difficult. Sometimes, it’s obvious and sometimes it’s a thin line. If you need any help with your inspection or documentation process, please contact us at Real Estate Gladiators. We inspect rental properties all the time, and we’d be happy to serve as your Bellevue property management resource.