Relocating 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.
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.
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.
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.