The Benefits of Video Move In / Move Out
There is a definite benefit in that you have proof of the condition of a rental prior to the tenant occupying it should you go to court over a security deposit dispute. You also have proof of the condition of the rental after a tenant moves out to show damage that the renter caused. Nowadays a quick video with a smartphone is simple enough to make.
This sounds like a great idea @Steve Rozenberg ! I would add that the video should cover everything on the check list so there is no possible dispute as long as you are thorough.
Sorry - posted twice and I don't know how to delete my post.
It would probably be better if at least for move in the tenant is in a few frames for each room, so that the video reflects condition that the tenant did receive, and not what some previous tenant received.
You will still need a written move-in checklist that contains the tenants dated signature for court, if it comes to that. If you do the video, have all parties who are present state their name, date and the property address on camera. Show the property address by starting the video at the entrance with a view of the street address. Shoot the video methodically, such as in a clockwise direction of each room. Zoom into items of particular interest. A video and/or a still photograph may not be able to capture everything, so a written property condition report is still necessary. Photographs and videos are helpful to catch what is easily overlooked. Good for insurance purposes also.
You can make the documentation as easy or difficult as you like. As long as you have something. It usually just gets down to as long as the tenant leaves the place in an acceptable condition and you are good to just give it a once over . If they damage something just document that and the reasonable cost of the repair and hope that your deposit covers it
Our policy is to take 150-200 move in pictures and a full interior and exterior video. Then the tenant at lease signing signs a itemized checklist of the minimum costs we will charge for any damage to the property.
Then when the tenant gives notice we send them the link to the video and pictures and let them know this is how we expect the property to be returned to us.
After the tenant moves out our field tech goes back and does the same exact 150-200 Pictures and video and uses the itemized checklist to deduct the costs off the security deposit.
I have to say by letting the tenant know upfront that we have taken pictures and video and them signing an itemized cost checklist the properties are returned in much better condition.
Setting the expectations in advanced with the tenants are key to succeeding in this business I think.
If anyone wants a copy of our itemized list just PM me and I am happy to share if it makes your life easier