4 Common Misunderstandings of the Move-in/Move-out Inspection
4 Common Misunderstandings of the Move-in/Move-out inspection
For landlords and tenants, the move in (or move out) process can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. If both parties have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, many common misunderstandings could be prevented. Here are four of the most common conflicts that landlords and renters have when it comes to the move in/ move out process and how to avoid them. Checking all of the boxes when it comes to the final inspection can be overwhelming, but property management companies, like Benefit National Property Management, can help make the move out process smooth for everyone involved
Wear and Tear
Oh, the age-old wear and tear dispute. Many conflicts have resulted in situations where landlords and tenants can’t agree on what is damage and what is normal wear and tear. Wear and tear happens when a home is being lived in. It’s worn out areas in the carpet where people walk most frequently. It’s slight scratches on hardwood or a shower stall that’s not sparkling new anymore. It’s the result of a home being used and lived in the way a home should. Wear and tear is not the same as intentional damage. Cigarette burns, crayon masterpieces on the wall, holes in the wall, these are not wear and tear and are all reasons why a renter could lose their security deposit. Taking pictures of the property before a guest moving in will help you compare the current state of the property vs. how they leave it. By setting clear expectations up front about who pays for what during the move-out process, both you and the tenant can avoid this very common conflict. Benefit National is a Temecula property manager that can help guide you through this process.
The Move-Out Inspection
The move out inspection doesn’t have to be a major event, but it should be a detailed and formal evaluation of the condition of the property when renters move out. This means that a checklist should be covered, and ideally, the landlord and tenant should be present for the inspection. When renters move in, create individual checklists listing the condition of everything in the home. Have both parties sign and hold on to for safekeeping. When moving day arrives, reference the initial checklists to stay on the same page about what changes have been made to the property since day one.
Performing A Preliminary Inspection
If a tenant informs you that they’re moving, insist that you get it in writing. In areas like Murrieta and Temecula, as well as the rest of the state of California, landlords are required to notify tenants about their right to a preliminary inspection. This inspection gives tenants a detailed account of what they can do to avoid losing their security deposit. As a landlord, this is your chance to let the tenants know exactly what you’re looking for and what needs to be fixed or changed. This process can help both the landlord and the tenant be on the same page about the move-out process and give tenants time to make necessary repairs.
One of the main conflicts between landlords and tenants during the move our process is the return of the security deposit. Many landlords aren’t sure what constitutes the holding of a renter’s deposit, so it’s important to know where you stand legally when it comes to keeping the money. Security deposits can be kept in the instance of:
- Early lease termination
- The tenant doesn’t pay rent
- Damage to the property (beyond wear and tear)
- The need for an extensive clear after departure.
There are other instances where landlords can not keep the deposit as well. There is always the case of the nightmare tenants. Check the landlord laws in your area to make sure you understand when you can keep the security deposit. The end goal, of course, is to be able to return the deposit to the renter because they took good care of the home.
Good communication is always the first step in preventing any misunderstandings during the move-in/move-out process. Setting clear expectations for your renters from the get-go and responding to their maintenance requests efficiently is a great way to maintain a positive landlord/renter relationship and make the moving process run smoothly. One way to alleviate this issue would be to hire a Temecula Property Management Company like Benefit National.
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