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A Quick Guide to Move-In and Move-Out Checklists for Rental Property Owners

When it comes to property management paperwork, there sure is a lot of it! However, if you are a rental property owner, it’s wise not to overlook move-in and move-out checklists (even though it might be tempting).

These comprehensive checklists not only help ensure that your property is ready for new tenants, but they also help simplify the entire moving process for everyone involved. In this post, we will discuss the importance of both types of moving checklists and what should be included in them to make sure expectations are crystal clear.

Move-In Checklist  

Move-in checklists are great for helping rental property owners keep track of their property’s condition. They are also useful for laying out expectations like when rent is due (and what happens if they are late on payments). Plus, it is necessary if you plan to hold your tenants responsible for damages that might occur while they are living there.

Usually, move-in checklists are separate for each room, as they include specific items related to each space. For example, kitchen move-in checklist items probably include things like cabinets, dishwashers, and sinks.

Whereas, bedrooms might consist of the condition of the carpets, closet doors, and paint. You must document everything from chipped tiles to carpet burns if you want to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and headaches down the road.   

You should plan on sending this move-in checklist to your new tenants a couple of weeks before their actual move-in date. This way, it gives them ample time to review it and understand what they will need to look for and verify during their initial inspection. It’s also a good idea to send this list via email so that it doesn’t get lost. Once completed, both you and your tenant sign and date the move-in checklist, and you each get a signed copy.

Move-Out Checklist  

Move-out checklists provide straightforward instructions for your tenants on the tasks and procedures they must complete before vacating your property. They are a great tool in helping you reinforce your lease agreement’s terms, and for determining whether you can use your tenant’s security deposit to pay for damages they cause.  

This list not only outlines your requirements during the moving out process, but it also contains your expectations regarding the condition of the electronics and appliances included within your property. Every rental property owner’s move-out checklist will be slightly different, but it should consist of typical tasks like thoroughly cleaning the entire home and removing all trash. Other responsibilities like repainting walls back to their original color, ensuring all light fixtures are in working condition, and returning all keys (including mailboxes) are acceptable to incorporate as well.

Be sure your tenants are aware that all items within the move-out checklist must be completed by their designated move-out date to receive their security deposit back in full. You should also state in it that if you need additional money to restore your property (not including normal wear and tear) that you will send your tenant a bill or file suit if necessary.   

*Notating everything about your property with detailed move-in and move-out checklists will hopefully avoid disputes from arising, and help you keep your investment in good condition.