The Importance Of A Move-Out Inspection

A move-out inspection is performed before a tenant vacates the property and the landlord conducts a walk through the vacant property. The purpose of a move out inspection is to:

  • Document and itemize any damages from the previous tenant ensuring that the latter has left the dwelling in a similar and acceptable condition as when it was initially let.
  • Assess the overall condition of the property and plan any repairs.

Regardless of the state of the property, a move-out inspection must always be performed.

As a landlord, at least two separate opportunities for the move-out inspection must be offered to the tenant, and ideally, the tenant should be present at the move-out inspection. If the tenant has moved on and not available, then the landlord must inspect the property by themselves and complete the report and give a copy of the report to the former tenant, within the prescribed time period.

By not participating in the move-out inspection, tenants forfeit their right to the return of the security deposit or pet deposit or both. If the tenant has abandoned the unit, the landlord must still inspect the rental unit and conduct the move-out inspection report. In this case as well, the landlord can make a claim against the security and or pet deposit.

Normal wear and tear items on the property that is the expected deterioration caused by the tenant’s daily use are:

  • Areas of faded, chipped or peeling paint
  • Fading or discoloration of the carpet or flooring
  • Small nail holes on the walls
  • Sun faded curtains and blinds
  • General wear of appliances
  • Loose grouting in bathrooms
  • Low batteries in the smoke alarms and CO2 detectors

Items that may require a deduction from the security deposit:

  • Broken doors or windows
  • Broken enamel on sinks, toilets and bathtubs
  • Ripped or missing curtains or blinds
  • Large holes in the walls
  • Burn marks and stains on the carpet or flooring
  • Damaged appliances that do not work properly
  • Dents and chips on floors, doors
  • Excessive dirtiness

If any money is to be deducted from the security deposit, a detailed charge list must be made that covers all the repairs and associated costs. If there are damages that require some work to be performed, it is important to hire at least two professional contractors specialised in the area of the repair to get an estimate before settling on a price. This will make it easier for the landlord to defend against any disputed charges made by the tenant.

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