Our rental property move out services help owners and landlords deal with difficult tenants and recover repairs costs attributable to tenant negligence, accidents or abuse. Most tenants appreciate an owner’s efforts to provide a quality rental property – but not all. Difficult tenants may resist periodic inspections, delay or avoid move out pre-inspections, and use creative techniques to evade costs attributable to their mistreatment of the rental. We can help.
The first step in a successful move out is a detailed property inspection and inventory at move in (we can help with that, too). Landlords should document features and condition of the property in significant detail, including the model and serial number of every appliance and installed system. Our typical move in report for a mid-size home includes about 200 photographs, ranging from a front view as seen from the street to detailed shots of appliances, fixtures, lighting and other items often requiring repair at move out.
Next, landlords can avoid surprises at move out by conducting period inspections of the rental during the leasing period (yes, we can also help with those). We recommend two inspections per year. Any problems discovered during these inspections should be addressed for the benefit of the tenant and the landlord.
When tenants announce they are going to vacate a rental and major repairs, renovations or upgrades are anticipated, landlords should schedule an inspection as soon as possible to establish the scope of such projects. In many areas, good contractors may be fully booked several months out, so landlords may need to get on the contractor’s schedule right away. This inspection is not tied to tenant liability at move out, though it can provide a first peek at the condition of the property as move out approaches. This inspection and semi-annual inspections require that the landlord properly serve the tenant with a specific Notice Of Entry. Tenants may resist these inspections, but the Notice provides appropriate authorization for the landlord to enter the property and the landlord does have options if the tenant refuses to allow entry.
In many states, including California, tenants have the right to a pre-inspection within two weeks prior to their lease termination/move out date. The purpose of this inspection is to identify repair items that could be charged to the tenant and deducted from their security deposit when they move out. The pre-inspection gives the tenant an opportunity to make the repairs themselves, thereby reducing the amount deducted from their deposit. Tenants have the right to have the property inspected or may waive it.
As with the move in inspection, the final move out inspection should be fully documented using a move out checklist and supported by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of detailed photographs. The move out checklist should identify all items the tenant may be held liable for and should be signed by the inspector and the tenant.
Some tenants may try to avoid any of the mentioned inspections because they intend to leave the property in such poor condition that their security deposit will not cover unpaid rent and repair costs. They might plan a midnight move out and not leave a forwarding address so they aren’t taken to court for excess repair costs. Unfortunately, other tenants may simply like playing the role of difficult tenant for no specific reason – even when they leave the property in good condition. That’s why we provide services that help with move in, move out and everything in between. For more information or assistance with your rental, please Contact Us.