Inspections are critical during the move in and move out periods, and at Carolinas Metro Realty, we always recommend that you have some kind of visual aspect to those inspections. You can take lots of pictures or make a video or even do both. The goal is to get a record of the property’s condition at each period of time. Those pictures and video will show you what the property looked like at the time the tenant moved in, and then what it looked like after the tenant left.
Take pictures of any cosmetic or structural damage that you notice during your inspection. Make a note of any damage at all; this will help you determine what to do with the security deposit when a tenant moves out. You need an accurate record at move in, which you will then match up to how the place looks at the time of move out. Looking at the two different inspection reports and all the pictures or video will help you assess the damages and tell you what you’ll need to take out of the security deposit and charge the tenant for.
These pictures and videos are important to include when you’re doing your inspections. Once you have them, you can keep them in the file in case you ever need to reference them again. One of the most common things property managers hear tenants say at the time of move out is “that damage wasn’t from me.” When we have the photos and the video that support our inspections, we can make a strong argument. It helps resolve a lot of disputes.
The technology you need isn’t terribly complicated. You can take pictures and videos with a digital camera, an iPhone, iPad and even an iPod. What’s really important is the level of detail you manage to capture when you’re inspecting. Take detailed pictures and shots of every room and every appliance. Take pictures of the flooring, especially if something looks damaged or different from the way it looked at move in. Open closets and turn the lights on. Get video of how the stove turns on and whether the window locks work.
These inspections will give you the peace of mind you need, especially when you have a detailed record of the condition of your property. Exceptional attention to detail is necessary because the more you catch at move in and move out, the more income you’ll catch from your rental property.