How do you do Walkthrough with new tenant of property?

11 Replies

Newbie landlord have my second tenant moving in Saturday.  The first rental I had a real estate company find tenant and handle transaction, this one I am doing everything myself.  During the walkthrough on the first property we really just walked through with the tenant and I took notes on any damaged items they noticed.  Noting was signed no documentation, etc....  I was just checking on what others do on a walkthrough, do you have a standard form both parties sign?  Do you do the walkthrough before they start to occupy the property?  The tenants are moving from out of state, I have met them, I have security deposits and first months rent, I would like to do the walk through before they start moving everything in just in case they do any damage moving in, but same token don't want to hold them up.   

Thanks

Kevin  

literally gauge condition & function of each fixture (ie, faucets, toilet, cupboards, windows, etc) with itemized checklist, signed and dated by both lessee and lessor 

Go to resources, file place to find a checklist. I would also take pictures, make a copy to give to the tenant and keep a copy in their file. A signed document and pictures to back it up should be enough to settle any future argument.

agree with the other posters. There's no such thing as being too thorough. 

I like to fill out the issues I am aware of on the checklist before giving it to the tenants. I should know about all of them. I challenge them to be thorough and check everything to protect themselves (both of us). Sometimes they find something that I missed!

Originally posted by @Kevin McDonald :

Newbie landlord have my second tenant moving in Saturday.  The first rental I had a real estate company find tenant and handle transaction, this one I am doing everything myself.  During the walkthrough on the first property we really just walked through with the tenant and I took notes on any damaged items they noticed.  Noting was signed no documentation, etc....  I was just checking on what others do on a walkthrough, do you have a standard form both parties sign?  Do you do the walkthrough before they start to occupy the property?  The tenants are moving from out of state, I have met them, I have security deposits and first months rent, I would like to do the walk through before they start moving everything in just in case they do any damage moving in, but same token don't want to hold them up.   

Thanks

Kevin  

Do your state landlord/tenant laws mention the walk-through and how it should be handled?  My state (Virginia) makes the landlord responsible for completing the form, then giving the tenants 5 days after move in to "protest" and make corrections.  The landlord then has 5 days to "protest."  I think this inspection and how it is conducted is the most important part of your rental strategy (besides carefully screening tenants).  I have a very detailed form that I use (about 10-11 pages) that I go room through room with.  I start filling it out as soon as we have patched up the place from the previous tenants and I consider the home in move in condition.  It takes several hours and I carefully look at and document everything.  If for example is see stains on the carpet I write "5 one inch red stains two feet in front of the master bath door" rather than "stains on the carpet."  Being ambiguous leaves it open for debate.  Always be as specific as possible, even if you are thinking "wow, what a waste of time... will I actually need to use this?"  I also go through the entire home (inside and outside cabinets, walls (stair wells especially, since these get damaged at move in/out) front and back yard, everything) and take up to 200 high resolution photos of every inch of the property (make sure each picture has the date and time stamp on it).  Tip:  It you are photographing holes in the wall, stick your hand or a ruler next to it to give an indication of the size.  Most of the time I give my departing tenants their entire deposit back.  However, this year was challenging and it has helped tremendously to be able to refer to the move in inspection and detailed photos I took--especially when a tenant has argued about the condition of the property.  For example, one person told us the tubs did not  have drains when they rented the home and the bathroom door was never there.  I pulled out my photos from the move in and when confronted with the evidence they really couldn't argue!  I love doing this with "know-it-alls."  Also, I do make the tenants sign two copies of my inspection report (one for me, one for them) before I will give them the keys.  I tell them t hey have 5 days to make corrections, but rarely has anyone made any.  I am also strongly considering have them initial each page like they do the lease as well.

I do a walk through and also give the tenant a sheet to fill in. I ask them to return it within 5 days, then I sign, and return a copy to them. This gives them time to notice items that may have been overlooked by myself or them. Pictures are great as well.

I would take pictures of each room and maybe each wall in the room label them and a space where they can verify with a signature as to the condition of the room with the picture as verification that way everyone is in agreement with the move in condition and make notes if necessary and date it that way you have a solid proof.

Be as thorough as possible because this is your property and your business. 

@Kevin McDonald I use an ipad app called happy inspector. It's very comprehensive, and gives you a digital signature option to have the tenants sign off on. One you're done you can turn it into a pdf report to save. You can take pictures of any issues and make notes that show up on the report as well.

Here's a screen shot of the interface, and a sideways one of the actual report w pics taken of the issues (couldn't get it turned around the right way, sorry).

If you download it you should get a couple free inspections before having to pay for them, so it's probably worth checking out.

Good luck with the new tenants!

Thanks for all the advice.  I looked in the resources and could not find a template walk through form.  I will search the web for one.  I will also check out the app. I do agree with everyone its better to cover too  much and have tons of pictures than not enough.

thanks for the advice, if anyone has a link to a good form could you send it to me? 

Thanks

Kevin

    

I do my walk through before the tenant signs the lease.  I note all problems and take tons of pictures.  When the tenant signs the lease, I walk them through the property and show them how to use the HVAC, the location of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, and how to turn off the water/gas/electricity in case of emergency.  I give the tenant 48 hours after signing the lease to do their own walk through to find damages and record the condition of the house.  They must turn in the signed walk through checklist within 48 hours or the house is considered free of defects.

The only way for you to legally keep any part of your security deposit is to be able to prove the tenants did any damage. I think @Max Tanenbaum said it best - you cannot be too thorough.

And it isn't a 5-minute process. This is YOUR property and YOUR business. Show the tenant at the beginning of your relationship that you value your property, and you are nit picky. No need to be adversarial, just let them know that you are aware of the state the unit was given to them, and that you expect it to be returned in the same state.

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