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Why Move-In/Move-Out Inspections are Vital

by Sawyer Shwetz | Apr 05, 2019

Your tenant is moving out, and you notice that the carpet you just put in is trashed. It looks like they ran a doggy daycare in your living room!

But don't worry, their security deposit will cover it... right?

Well, when it comes time to withhold money from a security deposit many tenants threaten to sue. This situation is not helped by the fact that many small claims court judges are anti-landlord. The result is a large number of unprepared owners losing in court.

Let's face it, we live in one of the most litigious states, and California law is written in favor of tenants. The most effective way to counteract this predicament is to have good, unwavering evidence of tenant wrongdoing that will stand up in a court of law.

What is a Move-In/Move-Out Inspection?

Move-In/Move-Out Inspections are photo based reports taken when a tenant moves into and out of a property. If a tenant causes damage to the rental, these reports provide evidence that they caused the damage.

Without these reports, the tenant can just claim,"It was like that when I moved in."

These reports are very detailed and provide the best possible evidence of tenant caused damage. If a proper inspection report is utilized, most disputes won't even make it to small claims court.Mesa Properties has spent countless hours developing and fine-tuning our inspection reports. Our software makes it easy for us to notice any tenant caused damage to the home and capture evidence with photos.

What Defines Tenant Caused Damage?

A lot of landlords get tenant caused damage mixed up with general wear and tear. The table below is a good reference for what can and cannot be charged to a tenant:

Screenshot 2019-04-03 at 4.29.01 PM-1-1

Since carpet only has a useful life of 5 years, a landlord cannot charge a 5 year tenant to replace the carpet. However, a landlord can charge a 12 month tenant most of the replacement cost of the carpet if the carpet is trashed after 12 months.

We understand that this is a complicated question. If you have any questions regarding what can and cannot be charged to a tenant after move-out feel free to give us a call.

Why Spend so Much Time on Inspections?

First and foremost, it allows us to be fair to the tenant. Most of the homes that we manage are not brand new. Most homes have minor defects. Having a good inspection report keeps us from overcharging the tenant when they move out.

A good report also allows us to go after a tenant when they cause damage to a home. When the tenant moves out they get a copy of the inspection report so that they know exactly what they are getting charged for and why. If they have any issues with their bill, they can meet with the property manager to compare before and after photos and make any necessary adjustments to the account charges.

A proper Move-In/Move-Out inspection is key to speeding up the turnover process. If you want more information on minimizing vacancy, check out this resource.

What is Included in a Mesa Properties Inspection Report?

I just looked at one of our most recent move out inspections and I counted 268 photos on a 49 page report. Included in that report were notes for necessary repairs all around the house. All of this was for a 1000 square foot, 3 bed, 1 bath house.

360° Photos

Mesa Properties recently updated our reports to include 360° photos. Just click this link to see one in action. These cool photos give an all around view of a room or outside area. It allows the property manager to see everything. Our reports now cover almost 100% of the home. This ensures that there are no missing pieces in the inspection. 

Let Us Help

Move-In/Move-Out Inspections seem simple. And, they are if you do them every single day like we do. However, for an inexperienced landlord, there is a lot of small details that can be missed. Those details can end up costing lots of money down the road.

If you would like to see a real inspection report done by Mesa Properties, please feel free to download one here.

If you would like to know more about Mesa Properties or how our inspections work, please give us a call. We would love to talk to you about how we can simplify your life.

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