Rental Property Inspection Checklist for Tenants: Inspection Tips You Need to Know

Rental Property Inspection Checklist for Tenants
Rental Property Inspection Checklist for Tenants

What Is a Rental Property Inspection?

Renting your first home is always an exciting experience. However, you should not forget about the great amounts of paperwork and check-ups you will need to do in the process. Wondering how to rent your first apartment or house and secure yourself from potential claims for damaged property? We recommend inspecting the property you want to rent carefully before signing the lease and using a printed-out home inspection checklist that will help you to keep all the important details in mind.

"Home Inspection Contract Form"

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What to Look for in a Rental Property Inspection?

Home inspections are an important part of the renting process. The inspection has to highlight the main issues with the house or apartment you want to lease and may affect your decision considerably. Different kinds of forms that may be used as both move-in and move-out inspection forms can help you to do the job. They are intended to remind you of the areas you need to examine for conveniently living in a rented property and avoiding difficulties with your landlord. You can create your own checklist from scratch or customize the existing one. There are no legal requirements for what it should look like.

Your rental home inspection checklist should include the condition of the following items:

  • Locks on all doors and windows in the building;
  • Carpets in all rooms (e.g., any obvious tears or spots);
  • Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers;
  • Walls, ceilings, and floors (e.g., stains, mold, warps, broken tiles);
  • Supplies (turn on the water in sinks and shower to check its pressure and color, flush the toilet, check heating, electricity and air conditioning);
  • Furniture.

These are only basic suggestions, the rest depends on the type of property you rent. Tailor the checklist to your specific situation by adding fields for a description of the garden, roof, garage, and other extra parts your property may have.

How to Perform a Rental Property Inspection?

In general, when leasing a home, the property inspection is made by the tenant before moving in. That is why the form you use during the inspection is often called a move-in checklist. In some cases, you can fill it out within three days of moving in and give it to your landlord to sign. You can also perform the property check together with your landlord or an appointed manager.

In any case, check the property thoroughly for any possible damages. Describe the condition of the house or apartment on the rental property inspection form. Be specific and detailed. Indicate the state of each room. If anything requires repair, describe it and agree with the landlord who will repair it. Take time-stamped photos and videos to document the condition of the house or apartment. Sign and date the landlord-tenant checklist and ask your landlord to do the same. This document will allow you to compare the condition of the property at the time of the move-in and move-out and can serve as evidence in a court. Usually, both the tenant and the landlord keep a copy of the signed checklist and the photos or videos of the inspection.

How Clean Does a Rental Property Need to Be for Inspection?

A landlord or an appointed manager normally use a landlord rental property inspection checklist when conducting a regular inspection. These checks not just allow your landlord and manager to control how well you take care of the property. They are your opportunity to inform them about any maintenance problems you are not responsible for.

Unsatisfactory results of the inspection may lead to an eviction. That is why if you like the place you live in and wish to stay there, it is better to prepare. Clean the property thoroughly before the inspection. All the carpets, walls, curtains, floors, kitchen, and bathroom must look tidy. Take care about the lawns or garden if any. Look through your copy of the landlord-tenant checklist and repair the damages you caused.