Why a Move-In Property Condition Checklist Is Important

Lee Blackburn

It is mandatory to conduct property inspections before a tenant moves in and after moving out. However, it is equally essential to document the findings of the inspection to ensure that you maintain a thorough record of the rental’s condition. You can use this recorded information to compare the damages during routine checks and move-out inspections of your Nashville rental

To understand the importance of this document, here are a few reasons why it is advisable to make a move-in checklist – 

  • Sets a Benchmark for All Inspections

Routine inspections for your rental can get more manageable when you have a detailed move-in checklist available at your disposal. Using the observations recorded during the move-in experience, you can compare the property condition after the tenant moves out or during regular inspections. Having a checklist in your hand can quickly help you detect any missing item, a damaged appliance, or broken apparatus in the house. Documentation in a comprehensive checklist allows you to mark even the most minor changes easily. 

Besides, you can also use the list to check if your tenant caused the damage. You can then determine if the damage resulted from regular wear and tear or negligence. It helps you quickly identify if one or more items on your property are missing. Thus, with the checklist, you can keep track of the condition of individual articles, examine their performance and identify the plausible causes of their damages.

  • Helps You Identify and Fix Issues

If there are any maintenance issues in your Nashville rental, a thorough move-in inspection can help you detect them. Common problems include a broken or unresponsive switchboard, fused light bulbs, overused AC filters, or a broken door lock. Ensure that you list these damaged items in the move-in checklist and repair them before the tenant arrives. 

Make a note of the date when you change the AC filters to track the tenant’s system usage after they move in. If the filters need a change before the anticipated date (approximately 90 days), your tenants may be using the system incorrectly or may not be cleaning them regularly. 

  • Documents Pre-Existing Property Condition

As a landlord, you cannot simply rely on your memory to remember the state of the property before it gets occupied by the tenant. You may not be able to remember every minute detail, and there also may not be any concrete evidence of the Nashville rental’s state

However, the move-in property condition checklist maintains a thorough record of details related to the shape of the rental. You can document every little detail that indicates the state of the apparatus in the house along with the pre-existing damages in a systematic manner.  

A move-in checklist leaves no scope for confusion or mistakes like omitting essential details. Another benefit of creating such a list is adding special remarks wherever necessary, along with pictures or videos. You can opt to create a digital checklist to record actual footage from your rental inspections. The more detailed and well-documented your checklist, the better it is for you and your tenants to verify the property’s state in the long run.   

  • Simplifies Verification of Rental State for Tenants

When you create a detailed checklist, you can walk the tenants around the property along with a copy in your hand. The checklist can serve as a reference and allow them to examine the functions of the HVAC system, stains on floors, cracks on windows, and other essential signs of pre-existing damages in the house. They can also familiarize themselves with fragile items like a glass sliding door to avoid causing any unintentional damage. 

Once you and your tenant agree on the house’s condition, you can potentially void security deposit issues. Additionally, when you show your tenants a detailed checklist during showings, they can know to use the property responsibly. 

  • Makes It Easy to Resolve Security Deposit Issues

The most significant benefit of using a move-in checklist is that it can stand as proof to resolve security deposit issues. Since the checklist documents the details of the property, it becomes easy to verify if your tenants caused the damages. It can also protect you from holding the renters responsible for the wrong damages. 

For example, if you find a ripped carpet during a property inspection, you may think it is tenant-caused damage. However, the checklist might show you that the carpets were not in the best condition when the tenants moved in, and the existing state is due to wear and tear damage. Therefore, the checklist can protect you from withholding the tenant’s security deposit for no reason. 

A detailed checklist can save you a lot of time and money in such instances, especially if your case goes to the small claims court. Since you and your tenants agree upon the move-in checklist, it becomes easy to know if the tenants caused any serious issues due to abuse or negligence.  

You can include these details in your move-in checklist – the condition of the paint in every room, the working condition of the appliances, the artifacts placed in the living room, the number of chairs on the porch, and the condition of the garbage disposal blades. 

Suppose there are damages like unauthorized paint-jobs in a room, damaged appliances, or fragmented garbage disposal blades. In such cases, it is easy to identify the damages caused by tenants’ negligence or abuse. 

In Conclusion 

Property ManagerAs a Nashville landlord, it may be tiresome to create a move-in checklist and ensure it is accurate and detailed. Hence, we recommend you take help from experts like property managers. Property managers are trained and experienced in creating documents covering all the crucial details.  

Consult with the most trusted team of property managers in Nashville, Omni Realtors and Property Management. We have worked in Nashville real estate for over 15 years and can competently handle inspections and other routine tasks. 

For more information, contact us at Omni Realtors and Property Management.