Landlords expect the tenants to keep a rental property in good condition throughout their stay. This is where a landlord can use a Rental Inspection Checklist to document everything and aid in any potential dispute. The checklist records the condition of the property and may contain detailed descriptions of all the significant features. With a properly filled-out list, a landlord will compare the shape of the rental property before and after the lease to determine if any damage occurred other than normal wear and tear.
When landlords rent out properties, they risk the property sustaining damage that may affect property value. Some landlords simply do a quick walk-through of the property with the new tenant. However, without documentation, the actual state of the property might be open to dispute. Landlords can avoid this to a large extent with a properly filled-out Rental Inspection Checklist.
Landlords use the Rental Inspection Checklist to document the condition of a rental property before leasing it. It should describe the property's state, including fixtures, large appliances, and everything that comes with the lease for landlords to compare the condition afterward. The Rental Inspection Checklist can serve as evidence if a tenant is to leave behind damages.
In practice, it is even more pertinent for tenants to denote the rental property's actual condition as landlords can assume everything to be in good condition unless otherwise noted. The Rental Inspection Checklist can also serve as a reminder for the items that a landlord should repair during the tenancy.
Depending on your state, a Rental Inspection Checklists may also be known as:
Although some jurisdictions require a Rental Inspection Checklist before landlords can deduct from the security deposit, it is not mandatory in all states. However, it can be smart for all landlords to use this checklist when renting out properties. The condition of the premises before and after a tenant moves in and out would not be open to dispute.
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The Rental Inspection Checklist is relatively simple to grasp, but not so much if you have to create one from scratch. Rest easy as landlords can use 360 Legal Forms to create their Rental Inspection Checklist with just a few clicks. Only standard information is needed to generate your own.
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After the Rental Inspection Checklist is filled out and both landlord and tenant agree to the contents, both parties should sign the document. It does not require a witness or notarization.
After you have generated your Rental Inspection Checklist on 360 Legal Forms, print out a copy to be given to the tenant to fill out. The tenant is to return the completed checklist to the landlord, who may want to return a copy to the tenant.
It isn’t necessary to notarize this document. However, some may decide to do so just in case. Notarization may make the signatures harder to contest in the future.
Residential Rental Checklist covers all rooms in the rental property. When the landlord and tenant first inspect the property, they are to go through each room and note the condition of each, including the flooring, ceiling, doors, windows, doorknobs, HVAC system, lighting fixtures, plumbing, appliances, and optional items like furniture and more. It is perhaps more important to note items that are damaged or in disrepair, as everything else can be assumed to be in good condition. For a rental house, the Rental Inspection Checklist should also contain the description of the exterior such as the garage, front or back porch, driveway, mailbox, etc.
While not required and still not the norm, it can be a good idea to include photos as further documentation.
If a tenant damages something that belongs to the landlord, the landlord can keep a portion of the security deposit to cover the repair cost. However, there is a difference between damage and what is considered normal wear and tear, the latter of which is to be considered the normal cost of doing business, rather than charged to the tenant.
If your properties are unique, you as a landlord can still have a standard Rental Inspection Checklist but adapted to account for all properties. If some of your properties are furnished and some are not, for example, you will want to have a line item for furniture in the standard checklist, perhaps marking it as “as applicable.”
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