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  Move-in Walkthrough-August2006 Question -Click Here for More Articles-   

I am a relative newbie at landlording. I just purchased 2 fixer uppers on the same street and am now in the remodeling phase. I will begin to look for tenants in a couple of weeks. I am happy with the kind of screening and rental price that I will use. On the other hand, I’m a bit unsure on the best way to do move-in walkthrough. Any suggestions?

 The first step is ensuring that you perform the move-in walk through before signing a lease. Never be so eager to get the lease signed that you leave the walk-through until the end. Landlords can save themselves a lot of time and grief should the tenant decide to back out after inspecting the rental. It is recommended that the move-in walk through be performed early in the appointment. By this time, the prospect would have had the opportunity consider pricing, floor plans and other lease terms.

Before you begin your marketing effort, use your digital camera do document as many aspects (inside and outside) of your rental as possible including all floors, appliances, walls, counters doors…. etc. Print 3 copies of the details on 8x11 paper: one copy for you, one for the tenant and one as a reserve. (You can fit 6 to 8 detailed images per side on the paper) Leave a small area for commentaries and initials because this is where you and the tenant will be approving and documenting the condition of the rental.

In the old days, people wrote down a description and scored the conditions because photos were too expensive and video too impractical. Today, the cost is minimal, the documentation is better and the arguments are less. It’s hard to argue with a photo before and after the damage. Don’t forget to verbally reinforce your expectation of the tenant returning the rental in the same condition as it was received. When they move out, mail them a copy of the before and after photos along with the detail deductions of the costs of repair.

"Landlords who demonstrate due diligence from beginning the leasing process; experience less tenant conflicts over the term of the lease."


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