Before you hand over the keys to your Fort Worth rental property, you need to document its condition. This will protect you at the end of the lease term, when your tenants have moved out. A well-documented condition report from the move-in period will show you whether there is any damage that was caused by the tenants. This will support any deductions you may make from the security deposit.
Keep yourself organized and consistent with every move-in inspection by creating a condition checklist. Here’s why you need one.
A Checklist Reminds You What to Look For
You feel like you know your rental property pretty well. So, it’s completely possible that you’ll miss one or two minor things when you walk through the home to ensure it’s move-in ready. Maybe you’ll forget to see if a window locks properly. Perhaps you won’t bother testing the sink in the half-bathroom or opening the refrigerator to make sure it’s empty and clean.
With a checklist, you’re accountable to every detail.
You’ll know that you’ve made sure everything is functional, ready, and clean. It’s the best way to have a visual reminder of everything that you need to do when inspecting your home.
Protecting Your Fort Worth Investment Property
Another reason you need a move-in condition checklist is to document how your property looks before the tenants take possession. There’s plenty of space on this checklist to make notes. You can include photos and videos. Be as detailed as possible so you leave no doubt as to the property’s condition.
A checklist protects you as well as your property. You can document that every part of the Texas Property Code has been complied with before your tenants move in.
It may not seem like anything you have to worry about now, but a year or two years or five years from now, your tenants will move out. If they’ve painted a wall or broken a closet door or put a hole in a floor, you’re going to need something with which you can compare move-in condition to move-out condition. Your checklist enables this.
Have Tenants Sign Off on a Checklist
With a consistent, documented checklist, you can also make sure that everyone is on the same page. Finish your own inspection and then when the tenants move in, leave the condition checklist with them for a day or two. They can conduct their own inspection and add anything that you missed. This is helpful to them because they won’t be charged for anything that isn’t their doing at the end of the lease term.
It’s helpful for you because when they sign off on the property condition, they won’t be able to dispute it after the lease period.
Use the Same Checklist During the Move-Out Inspection
Once the move-in checklist has been completed and signed, file it away until you need it next.
This will be your template when the move-out inspection occurs. You’ll take all the same pictures and look at all of the same things – appliances, lights, ceilings, walls, floors, etc. It sets you up nicely for making any claims against the security deposit that you need.
We can help you put together an appropriate checklist if you don’t have one. Please contact us at Trend Property & Management for this and all of your Fort Worth property management needs. We also serve homes in Keller, Saginaw, Hurst, Weatherford, and local communities.