Skip to Content

Make the Most of Your Pre-Move-in Walkthrough

Chevy Chase Woman with a Move-In Inspection ChecklistRelocating to a new Chevy Chase rental house can be an inspiring experience. However, it’s also the best chance to protect your security deposit: a pre-move-in walkthrough inspection. While some landlords will provide you with a list of things to check around your rental home before you move in, others may not. Make sure to perform a walkthrough inspection on your own, even if it isn’t required. So that your pre-move-in walkthrough is effective and efficient, keep a few of these in mind.

Get Personal

Nothing compares to the value of an in-person walkthrough. A helpful landlord may say that they have inspected the property for you, but you still need to check everything yourself. While landlords, generally, aren’t consciously trying to trick you, you still may uncover maintenance or other issues that got left out of the report. If you don’t check each part of your rental property carefully, you could wind up paying for repairing something that was broken before you moved in.

Use a Checklist

Taking advantage of your pre-move-in walkthrough means inspecting each part of your rental home carefully. Use a checklist so that you don’t leave anything out. There are some landlords who will give you a checklist but there are others who won’t. But, you can also choose from the many checklists and guides available for download online. So that your walkthrough is focused, use a checklist so that you don’t miss anything. The checklist can be used for comparison, too, should you move out.

Document Everything

A checklist is an important first step in documenting your walkthrough. Although, making the most of your pre-move-in inspection means going a little bit beyond simply checking off items. To fully protect your security deposit from undeserved repair charges, you need to carefully and thoroughly document each aspect of the property’s condition before you move in. It would do you well to jot down lots of notes, either on the checklist or on another piece of paper. It would serve you well to write down notes on condition issues, locations, etc. — these details will be really helpful.

Most landlords won’t try to charge you to replace an entire kitchen floor for one damaged spot in the linoleum, but some might. One great idea is to take pictures as you do your walkthrough. Take a variety of shots — close-up, wide, etc. Afterward, place the pictures somewhere safe.

Report Maintenance Issues

Once you’ve completed your walkthrough and documentation, be sure to report any maintenance issues you discovered right away. Tell your landlord about the small details that may need maintenance or repairing — broken toilet seats or blinds, leaky faucets, and non-functioning light switches or outlets. These may seem like relatively small details, but they might end up causing you more problems if left unattended. Send your landlord something in writing as proof of reported issues. This protects you from unjust accusations, as well as protects your security deposit after you leave.

Making the most of your pre-move-in walkthrough requires a bit of a process. But it’s worth it. Thoroughly documenting your rental home’s pre-move-in condition leads to the assurance that, whatever happens, your security deposit will be returned in full.

Eyeing a new home? Real Property Management Washington DC has the one for you! You can browse our listings online or call us at 202-813-9993 for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details