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5 Reasons Why Move-In Inspections Are the Key to Your Success

Posted by joe.watkins on October 30, 2020

There’s nothing better than finding a high-quality tenant for your Atlanta, GA rental. After all, a long-term tenant means long-term revenue. Not to mention, when you place a good tenant in your property, you can expect them to care for it as though it were their own.

That said, you never want to skip the move-in inspection. No matter how confident you are in your tenant, you should always perform a move-in inspection.

You and your property managers in Atlanta, GA work hard to stage your property for the next tenants. Between cleaning and repairs, there are tenant screenings, property showings, and tenant interviews. The last thing you want is to move a tenant into your property without first knowing the condition of your property.

If you want to make sure both you and your property are protected, keep reading to find out the top reasons why a detailed move-in inspection is the key to your success.

What is a Move-in Inspection?

A move-in inspection is an inspection you or your property managers in Atlanta, GA perform before your new tenants move in. During the inspection, you will fill out an inspection checklist and take photos of the property.

Also, during the move-in inspection, your tenants can document the original condition of the property too. This way, at the end of the lease term, your tenants will only be responsible for the damage they caused to the rental.

Top Reasons to Conduct a Move-In Inspection

1. It’s the Law

According to Georgia law, a move-in inspection is required for those that own more than 10 rental units. It is also required for those that employ a property manager.

During the inspection, the property owner or manager must do the following:

  • Agree with the tenant on the extent of existing damage in the property
  • Provide the tenant with a complete list of existing damage before collecting a security deposit
  • Give the tenant a chance to inspect the property and compare it to the list of damages

Lastly, both the landlord and tenant must sign the move-in inspection list. This makes it an official and binding agreement that can be used at the end of the tenancy.

2. It Holds Both Landlord and Tenant Responsible

Move-in inspections are designed to hold landlords and their tenants responsible for the condition of the rental property. This responsibility includes the time of move-in, during the tenancy, and at the end of the lease term when the tenant moves out.

By holding both parties responsible the following happens:

  1. You Send a Clear Message: performing a move-in inspection lets you set the bar high for your tenants. The message you send to tenants is that you want your property to be well cared for. It also shows your tenants that any damage will be documented at the end of the lease term.
  2. You Take Responsibility: it’s not just your tenants that play a role in the move-in inspection. With a thorough move-in inspection, you’ll be able to provide an accurate itemized list at the end of the lease term documenting any damage caused by your tenant. This process prevents you from wrongfully using your tenant’s security deposit on things that are considered normal wear and tear.

Owning a rental property is just like running a business. Your customers, or tenants, want to make sure you are not scamming them whether at the beginning or end of the tenancy.

3. It Protects Your Property and Profit

If you don’t perform a move-in inspection, you make it hard to prove that any damage to the property was caused by your tenants. After all, if the condition of your property is not noted at the beginning, it becomes a he said-she said situation at the end.

Trust us, no tenant is going to willingly pay for damage you can’t prove they caused.

Still not convinced?

Check out what happens if you don’t perform a move-in inspection before your tenant moves in:

  • Waiting to finish a move-in inspection until after a tenant moves in likely means the inspection will never get finished
  • As a tenant moves in, damage to the original property can occur that will be hard to prove without proper documentation
  • If you allow your tenant to perform the move-in inspection alone after moving in, you risk having an inaccurate list of damage

Lastly, failing to perform a move-in inspection at all can mean lots of trouble for you. Any damage that your tenants cause to the property should be handled with the security deposit you’ve collected. However, if you can’t prove they caused the damage, you will ultimately be responsible for the fixes and associated costs.

4. It Makes Recouping Repair Costs a Cinch

With a detailed move-in inspection, you can easily recover the costs associated with damage at the end of the lease term. Remember, any damage that is beyond simple wear and tear are the responsibility of your tenant.

If you have a move-in inspection list to refer to when your tenant moves out, you can easily gauge what new damage exists. From there, you’ll be able to use the security deposit to make repairs without losing any money of your own.

5. It Ensures the Property is Habitable

Of course, your rental property should be in tip-top shape as a new tenant prepares to move in. However, things happen unexpectedly. By performing a detailed move-in inspection before letting your tenants move in, you ensure the property is not only looking great but is also safe to live in.

Under Georgia law, you are required to provide your tenants a habitable place of living. This means that you need to provide a rental that:

  • Is free from structural damage to elements such as the building, walls, floors, stairwells, and roofs
  • Has working electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems
  • Does not have known environmental hazards such as lead paint or asbestos
  • Is free of pests like rodents and other vermin
  • Has ample supplies of hot and cold water
  • Has no known criminal entry points that would put your tenants in danger

When you conduct a move-in inspection, you catch any problems before they become major and affect your tenants. While it’s no fun to have to make repairs as a tenant is about to move in, it’s much better to handle them before you find yourself in court face-to-face with your tenants.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to get some help when it comes to managing your Atlanta, GA rental property? If so, contact us today and see how we can help you with all your rental property inspections, including the move-in inspection.

At YesiRent, it’s our job to take the stress off you as a property owner and make things easy on you.

We offer blazing fast tenant placements, top-notch repair prices, and full move-in inspections that include written and video documentation.

Because of our dedication to your investment property, you’ll have nothing to lose and only positive cash flow to gain. Plus, you won’t have to do any of the hard work.

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