When you own a rental property, one of the most critical responsibilities as a landlord is conducting a thorough and detailed move-in or move-out inspection. Whether you own a single-family home or a 10 unit multifamily property, a thorough home inspection helps save time, money, and potential legal issues. In this article, we’re listing five common mistakes Brevard County Landlords make and how you can avoid them.
Promising the Tenant Their Full Deposit Before Inspection
Many tenants are eager to secure their deposit before moving out, but prematurely saying they can have it back may lead to trouble. In fact, even a verbal agreement could lead to problems further down the line — especially if there are damages present.
Before discussing security deposits, landlords should conduct a thorough inspection of the rental. This inspection should include a comparison to the original move-in report to ensure the home is in the same condition and there are no damages. As much as you might like your tenant, it’s crucial never to assume everything will be okay — even the best tenants can leave damage behind.
Conducting the Final Walkthrough with the Tenant
Although scheduling the final walkthrough while the tenant is present might seem easy, this may not be the best idea. Having the tenant at the property for the inspection will likely mean that you don’t inspect it as thoroughly as you would otherwise. The added pressure could also cause you to miss smaller damage you would otherwise notice. It’s much more efficient to wait until your tenant has left the property and conduct a walkthrough inspection then.
Lack of Communication with the Tenant
Coordinating a tenant move-out can be challenging, so it’s important to keep open and clear lines of communication. Start scheduling important dates several weeks before the proposed move-out date. If you need to make any updates or repairs to the property, it’s important to communicate this to your tenant to ensure everything runs smoothly.
You should also ensure you’re acting within Florida landlord-tenant laws, including the time frame in which you return your tenant’s security deposit. Creating a schedule with important deadlines will help keep you and your tenant on track.
Failing To Document Agreed Charges
If you notice damage or loss that affects your tenant’s security deposit, you must create proper documentation. It’s crucial that you take photographs to document any damage to your rental property, especially if you find yourself in a security deposit dispute. You should also have an in-depth inspection checklist created at the beginning of the lease that you can reference during the move-out inspection. This will help you keep track of your rental condition and how it has changed over time.
Failing to Create a Detailed Inspection Report
Each time you complete a rental inspection, you should thoroughly list each room and area, including any required repairs or damages caused. As stated in the previous point, you should also include photographs with your inspection report — and, if possible, get signatures of acknowledgment from the tenant.
Using technology is the best way to create and store inspection report documentation. Loose papers can be lost or damaged easily, so keeping track with a spreadsheet or computer file explicitly created for the rental is preferential.
Brevard County Property Management
If you aren’t sure what to include on your move-in and move-out checklist, or you’d like advice from an experienced local property manager, reach out to Rent In Brevard Property Management today. At Rent In Brevard, we handle all aspects of property management, from marketing and finding prospective tenants to executing rental agreements and collecting rent. We offer full-service property management options to help landlords manage their rental property portfolio seamlessly and efficiently. For more information about our services, click here.