Transferring into a new Brookfield rental house can be an amazing moment. And, it could also be the perfect opportunity to protect your security deposit: a pre-move-in walkthrough inspection. While some landlords will provide you with a list of things to check around your rental home before you move in, others may not. Make sure to perform a walkthrough inspection on your own, even if it isn’t required. So that your pre-move-in walkthrough is effective and efficient, keep a few of these in mind.
An in-person walkthrough offers you the chance to be able to inspect the property yourself. A helpful landlord may say that they have inspected the property for you, but you still need to check everything yourself. While many landlords aren’t willfully trying to trick you, you still may uncover maintenance or other issues that got left out of the report. If you don’t check each part of your rental property carefully, you could wind up paying for repairing something that was broken before you moved in.
Use a Checklist
Getting the best out of your pre-move-in walkthrough means inspecting each part of your rental home carefully. Use a checklist so that you don’t leave anything out. While a checklist is a great tool, don’t expect it from all landlords. But, you can also choose from the many checklists and guides available for download online. A checklist will allow you to keep your walkthrough focused and thorough so that you don’t miss anything. Aside from that, the checklist can also be used for comparison after you move out.
A checklist is an important first step in documenting your walkthrough. Nevertheless, making the most of your pre-move-in inspection means going a little bit beyond simply checking off items. To fully protect your security deposit from undeserved repair charges, you need to carefully and thoroughly document each aspect of the property’s condition before you move in. It would do you well to jot down lots of notes, either on the checklist or on another piece of paper. It helps to jot down condition issues, locations, etc. No detail is too small.
Most landlords won’t try to charge you to replace an entire kitchen floor for one damaged spot in the linoleum, but some might. What you can also do is, as you inspect the property, to take a lot of pictures. When you do, take different pictures — wide, close-up, etc. Don’t forget to stash them somewhere safe.
Report Maintenance Issues
Once you’ve completed your walkthrough and documentation, be sure to report any maintenance issues you discovered right away. Don’t forget to tell your landlord even the smaller details like broken toilet seats or blinds, leaky faucets, and non-functioning light switches or outlets. These are details that your landlord needs to know about immediately. Send your landlord something in writing as proof of reported issues. In doing so, you protect yourself from unjust accusations, and you protect your security deposit when you leave.
Making the most of your pre-move-in walkthrough takes some thought and effort. But it’s worth it. Thoroughly documenting your rental home’s pre-move-in condition leads to the assurance that, whatever happens, your security deposit will be returned in full.
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