CSP Chapter 5 Lesson 3: Property Inspection at Move-In

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Lesson preview: This lesson will inform you about property inspections and how to make a Property Condition Report. An example of a Property Condition Report is provided.  Also provided is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about property inspections.


What is a Property Inspection?

A property inspection is an examination of the property to determine its features and conditions, at the time the property is rented and again upon move out. A property inspection can be used for many purposes by a property owner, property appraiser, building inspector, insurance inspector, contractor or tenant. The property inspection should include a copy of a property condition report to ensure the inspection covers all relevant areas and to complete the property condition report correctly.


What is a Property Condition Report?

A Property Condition Report is a written summary that describes the condition of a property at move in and at move out.

For landlord-tenant purposes, the property condition report considers the property to be rented, lists the parts of the property being inspected, records features of the property condition, and highlights existing problems. A property inspection should use the property condition report, prior to moving in and again when moving out. If a landlord or manager does not provide you with a property inspection report prior to moving in, you should create your own and have the landlord sign that report.  If you have the initial property condition report in writing, you can prove the preexisting damage, and have the best chance of getting your deposit back.


FAQs about property inspections


Q: Why are property inspections and property condition reports important?

A: A property condition report is evidence of the features and condition at a point in time. Reports from different times can show the changes in features and conditions of a property. For tenants and landlords, the property condition report forms the key evidence offered at the end of the rental period that determines changes or damages to the property and for the repayment of the deposit. Written and signed off documents can be used as evidence in court.


Q: Who is responsible for making and keeping a property condition report?

A: The landlord should utilize the property condition report to help them ensure that the property is safe and operational at the time a new tenant takes possession of the property. Tenants and landlords should inspect the property together and agree to the features and condition at the time. Each should confirm the report by signing and dating a copy of the report. The tenant and the landlord should each keep a copy of the property condition report, which will be used as a reference upon moving out, or in a worst-case scenario – as evidence in small-claims court.


Q: When and who should conduct a property condition inspection?

A: Both the landlord and the tenant, at move-in, to establish the condition baseline. Both the landlord and the tenant, at move-out, to compare the property to the move-in baseline.


Q: What other kinds of documentation are useful to prove the Move-In vs the Move-Out conditions?

A: At a minimum you should have a written report of the condition at the time of moving in, signed and dated by both the tenant and the landlord. Electronic photographs or video clips with date stamps are excellent records.


Q: What are some possible actions that can be taken based on a property inspection?

A: Tenants can use the property condition report to point out the problems with the property at move-in and to have those repaired, before signing a lease. You can use this to check that repairs are made during the lease. You can use this to get your deposit back when you leave. IN an legal matters, you can provide this as evidence.


Property-condition-checklist page 4





Back to: CSP Rental Readiness Program – West Alabama > Chapter 5: The End of the Rental Agreement and Moving Out