One of the most important aspects of property management is the Move-in and the Move-out. This is an area where, if handled improperly, great disagreements can come.
If money were not an issue, there would be no problem. But when a tenant is charged for cleaning or damages upon move out, charges they do not agree with, there can be a problem. If the tenant is NOT charged upon move out, and then some expense is made to repair or clean the property, that means the landlord pays. The landlord will say, “why am I paying for this; it should have been charged to the tenant!”
So this is the squeeze that the property manager gets in, and it is a no-win situation. This is why doing a proper Move-in and Move-out Walkthrough Inspection is so very important.
The main point of the move-in inspection is to document the condition of the premises, because later, upon move out, there will be a comparison, and that is where the tenant may be charged for issues that are beyond normal wear and tear.
As a property manager, my belief is that there is no way to exactly document the condition of the premises upon move-in or move-out, but you have to do your very best. You can have video cameras, 12 wise men and women, digital photos, etc, but still something can come up. The point is you have to do the best you can with what tools you have to document and agree, between tenant and property manager, what the condition is upon move in, and the comparative condition upon move-out.
Tools to Note the Condition.
Mutual understanding, completing checklist; additional notes.
Unforeseen issues, conflict resolution