Damage walk through pre move in

6 Replies

Tenant and I walked through. I’m a little over whelmed (as is he) what to fill out. The hardwood has light scratches in lots of places, and the walls have some holes from last tenant painting etc - but there was no major damage. Are we supposed to document every minor scratch on the floor and nail home in the wall? 

@Chris O.

Hi, Chris, what you chose to document is going to largely depend on your business model. I sign one-year leases with my tenants and a large number of them choose to stay three or more years. In those cases, I've typically gone through the property and repaired the nail holes as well as touched up the paint on the wall before the tenant walkthrough. I encourage the tenant to document everything s/he feels could possibly be noteworthy. But this is what I do in my rentals, as a self-managing DIY landlord working in borderline C/D-class properties. I am my own handyman, and I hardened my own rentals. So I tend to leave everything blank and sign off on anything the tenant feels I might be concerned about after they decide to move out.

A little bit of goodwill here goes a long way. If you are relying on a spreadsheet of carefully projected expenses to reach a breakeven point on this rental, and you're relying on contractors and expensive handyman services to do all your fixing, yeah, you're going to want to document as much as possible, and take lots of date-stamped pictures.

No way, just walk through, if the tenant notes something mark it down. If they don't ignore it to your benefit. The purpose of the walk through is for you and the tenant to have an understanding as to existing defects you may later deduct for upon move-out.

@Chris O.

And remember, wear and tear happens. I don’t sweat the small stuff. 3 small nail holes? What, I’m going to charge them 50 cents for putty and touch up paint? Take pics of real damage or broken areas. Let the tenant decide if they want to report something.

@Matthew Olszak is right on this. During a move in inspection, you let the tenant call out deficiencies.if THEY call out scratches in the floor, you take a picture of THAT particular spot. If you don't, you will inadvertently imply that their version of "minor scratches" are acceptable and my be overlooked.

@Chris O. I give them a form to fill out when they move in just like when you rent a uhaul or rental car. Any dents and scratches they mark down. I collect it after a week, sign it and make them a copy. Anything not on that sheet at move out they are responsible for. It’s fair for us both.