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What to Look for in Your Final Rental Property Walk-Through

By Joseph Slonimsky

What-Look-Your-Final-Walk-Through-maintenanceOne of the most important topics for both landlords and tenants is the security deposit. Tenants want to be sure they get as much back as possible after moving out and landlords want to be sure that they are able to withhold an accurate amount to cover any damages that may have occurred during tenancy. The key to keeping both parties satisfied is knowing exactly what to look for during the final walk-through. Here are some basics you should always keep in the back of your mind.

Floors

Check for stains and tears in carpet, gouging and/or excessive wear on hardwood floors and chips or missing tiles on tiled floors. Any damages should be noted verbally and marked down so everyone is aware. This also gives tenants the opportunity to point out any damage that was already there when they moved in.

Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.

Walls

It’s to be expected that there will be small holes in the walls from tenants hanging pictures, but look for areas that may require more than a quick spackling job. Also look for areas that may have been repainted and need to be returned to the original color.

Closets/Cabinets

One area many landlords often forget to check is the doors on cabinets and closets. Make sure all hinges are still working properly and aren’t broken. Also check shelving, railings and drawers. Make sure the tenant didn’t forget to remove any unwanted items that the landlord will likely end up having to clean up.

Windows

Be sure there are no cracks in any windows, that they open and close easily and that the lock on each one is functioning properly. Look for broken screens as well.

Appliances

Check each and every appliance, including the stove, the refrigerator, the furnace, the air conditioning unit and any other appliance supplied for tenant use. Make sure they are all functioning as they should be and none require any repairs.

Exterior

Obviously the amount of exterior you will need to inspect will depend on the type of rental property you’re managing. For homes and condos, a thorough inspection of the yard and home exterior is recommended. For apartments, a look at the stairway, walls and door should help to assess any damages that the tenant may be liable for.

To ensure that you don’t miss any of these important things, make a checklist that you can use to stay on track during walk-throughs. Leave an area next to each item on your list where you can make notes about damages you’ve found. This will help when it comes time to write the letter to the tenant detailing what amount, if any, is being withheld and why. It’ll also help you get the property prepared to be re-rented quickly.

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.



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