hi I'm a recently new landlord and am getting in the habit of move in inspections and taking documents and photos of damages or general condition. Seeking advice on what's the best and most cost effective camera in taking photos? Currently I use my cell phone and then file and print out the photos on computer paper in case future damages and court evictions. My problem is the pictures and print quality aren't the best. Would a normal film camera from a store work and then have the film printed in store to be more professional and keep on file for future use. Just curious cause I heard of judges not allowing cell phone or other devices used because no date is printed on the photos. Thanks
I use a regular digital camera. Then I take out the SD card and download the photos onto my computer using iPhoto and erase the images from my SD card and reuse. In the event I need to show the photos to a third party, I can retrieve them at that time and put them onto a tablet or print them if I absolutely had to. After 20 years in this business, I've never had a dispute go to court about the return of the security deposit and never had to evict for property damage. I haven't had a tenant sue me in small claims court either.
Get a good Property Condition Report form and complete it before the tenant moves in. Secure the tenant's signature on the form. At move-in, take good photos from the angle of each corner of the room. At move-out do the same. Take closeup photos of any damages, but document them in writing too. If you do a move-out walk-through with the tenant, there should be no surprises, let them see you photograph the damages and ask them "What happened here?". Document what they say.
The probability of a tenant taking you to court on the matter is relatively low if you are ethical and thorough in the work you do as a landlord.
Thanks I appreciate your quick response. any other experienced landlords have creative ideas that work?
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