The move-out inspection can feel a bit like going through airport security – eyes scrutinizing every little detail as your luggage is x-rayed and picked through by strangers with cold stoicism. But in this case, rather than luggage, it’s the place you’ve called your home for the last year or so. Please, do not take this personally.
The purpose of the move-out inspection is to document the state and condition of the property at the completion of your tenancy. This is to give us an idea of the work, if any, needs to done to ready the property for the next tenant. This work may be standard turnover repairs, full-on remediations, and most commonly, extra cleaning.
That dent in the floor by the stove may have been there at the start of your tenancy, but it must be noted. Wear-and-tear has likely occurred, which we will also be noted. Dust bunnies in the exhaust vents and greasy fan filters, you guessed it, that will be recorded too. Once everything is documented, the move-out photos and notes will be reviewed against the ones from the move-in. So, if the dust and grime in the window tracks and that hole in the wall really were there when you moved in, it will be determined.
The condition you received the property in is the condition your landlord will expect to receive it back in, less wear-and-tear of course. It is suggested that you put yourself into the new tenant’s shoes and ask, “How would you like to receive your new home?” It’s unlikely the next tenant is going to appreciate your dog’s hair collection on the window screens and mysterious food debris in the drawers. All those little nooks and crannies that you might have missed while cleaning, will often be the first thing a new tenant will notice after they take possession.
Naturally, accidents may also occur over the course of your tenancy, and as you would if it were your own home, you may make the repair yourself or hire someone to do so before the end of your tenancy. If not, this along with any extra cleaning may be deducted from your security deposit. **Proceed with caution when undergoing any repairs yourself. If it is something complex and/or work you are unfamiliar with, it is highly recommended you call in a professional. Poorly executed self-repairs often end up costing more to remediate in the long run. Your property management company may also coordinate the work for you, saving you money with the preferred customer rates they receive.
Once the inspection is completed you will be provided a copy of the report, as you were with the move-in, and you can make the comparisons yourself. Once again, let me reiterate, it’s nothing personal. As you would if it were your own investment, the goal of the owner or landlord is to maintain the integrity and worth of their property, so that it continues to turn a profit, and future tenants continue to have a safe and comfortable place they can call home.