Property Management Blog

Why Every Landlord in Long Beach Should Do Move-In Inspections

System - Tuesday, July 20, 2021

3 Long Beach property managers doing a move-in inspection

There’s an overwhelming relief when you find a tenant to lease your rental property in Long Beach. You know that your vacancy is filled, and you’ll be making a profit from your real estate investment. However, the work doesn’t stop after the lease is signed.

Before your new tenant moves into the property, you should have a detailed move-in inspection. While you may have collected a security deposit – which we highly encourage – there is yet another step for you to take to protect your property from damages.

A move-in inspection will save you plenty of trouble, arguments, and headaches when your tenant moves out. It will also encourage your tenant to keep the property in good condition while they live there.

By the end of this article, you’ll know precisely how a move-in inspection can protect your property and how to conduct one thoroughly.

What is a Move-In Inspection?

You may be wondering what a move-in inspection even is. This is a walkthrough of the property before a new tenant starts moving their belongings in. The purpose is to identify any damages in the property that were caused by previous tenants or situations.

The best time to have a move-in inspection of your Long Beach rental is after you’ve properly cleaned it from the last tenant and before the new tenant moves in. This way, it’s in optimal shape and exactly how you expect the property to be returned to you.

It Sets a Precedent

By holding a move-in inspection with your new tenant before they settle in the property, you set a precedent for how you would like the property to be kept while they live there.

There are some tenants who really take on a sense of ownership when they rent a property. They start to change certain things, such as the wall color or hanging shelves and leaving them there.

When a tenant is forced to really examine and look at the condition of the property before they move in, they will be more conscious about how they take care of it. Make sure to express you expect the property to be in the same condition at the end of their lease too.

This will likely prevent avoidable damage at the hands of the tenant. Therefore, you’ll have less to clean up at the end of their lease and can save some money and arguing about the security deposit.

Evidence of Previous Damage

A major issue between landlords and tenants includes fighting over which damages were present before the tenant moved in and which the tenant caused. With a detailed move-in inspection, both the landlord and tenant are aware of previous damages.

In fact, the tenant may even ask the landlord to repair damage in the property before they move in. This shows that the tenant cares about the property and will presumably take good care of it.

tenant discussing inspection with Long Beach property manager

Avoid Security Deposit Arguments

At the end of the lease, landlords can use the tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of damages caused by the tenant. This often leads to arguments because the tenant will deny ever causing these damages.

This long process can be especially stressful, especially if it goes to small claims court. However, it can all be avoided if you have a move-in inspection. Thanks to documented proof, landlords can back up their claims that a tenant has caused specific damage to the property.

How to Have a Thorough Move-In Inspection

If you have never hosted a move-in inspection with a new tenant, you may feel lost as to how the process goes. It’s important to pay close attention to details and have a thorough examination of the property.

Schedule a Time with Your Tenant

As we stated before, you should schedule a time with your tenant to have the move-in inspection between the time they move in and after you’ve prepared the property for them.

This could even be on moving day right before they start moving their belongings into the property. Communicate with the tenant to schedule a time that works best for you both.

Walk Through and Examine Damages

Take it room by room. Start in the entrance and move through the property, examining each room thoroughly.

Let the tenant really look at the property and try out different appliances. If you are already aware of damages, make sure to mention them. Don’t try to leave them out and make the tenant think it was their fault.

When you do see something, such as a crack in the wall or scratch on the hardwood floor, document it. Take a photo with the date on it and keep it as proof for when the tenant moves out.

It’s also important to take photos of the rooms after you’ve cleaned them. This can also serve as before and after evidence if your tenant causes damage to any room.

Have a Checklist Handy

To ensure you have examined everything in the property thoroughly, it’s helpful to have a move-in checklist. You can also make notes on this checklist about what damages you notice too.

Give your tenant a copy of the checklist as well so they can follow along and write their own notes down.

Prepare a Written Report

Once the move-in inspection is complete and you’ve documented the current damage(s), it’s time to compile it into a written report. This is important for proof of the condition of the property when the tenant moved in.

Send a copy of the report to your tenant and have them review it. When you both agree to the damages stated, sign the document and keep it in a safe place. You’ll refer to this at the end of the tenant’s lease.

Don’t Forget a Move-Out Inspection

A move-out inspection is just as important as a move-in inspection. However, having already done the move-in inspection will make the move-out assessment much easier and straightforward.

During this inspection, you’ll see if any damage was done by the current tenant and compare the property’s state from when they moved in to now. This will also help you determine what repairs will need to be made and what you can take out from the security deposit.

CMC Rental & Property Management Will Handle Your Move-In Inspections

After reading this article, you’re probably thinking about how much more time you’re going to have to spend on your Long Beach rental. This can be especially stressful if you have multiple rental properties.

What if you never had to conduct a move-in or move-out inspection but you still had peace of mind that your property was protected?

Not only can CMC Rental & Property Management take care of that for you, but also all things related to property management! As the leading property management company in Long Beach, we offer full-service tenant placement and property management to landlords and investors, so they never have to waste time on their rental property again.

Call us today to discuss how we can help you start enjoying your real estate investment and spend less time worrying about it.