Landlord's Tenant Move-In Checklist for Rental Properties

Use this tenant move-in checklist to protect your investment in rental properties and avoid security deposit disputes.

A landlord’s tenant move-in checklist helps rental property owners understand what steps should be completed before a tenant taking possession of a rental unit. The steps include a property inspection and move-in checklist, which will play a big part in determining how much, if any, of a tenant’s security deposit must be withheld at the end of the lease. Landlords should follow these steps and use the tenant move-in checklist below stay to organized keep track of repairs and damages.

Rental Property Move-In Condition

Prior to a tenant taking possession of the rental property, landlords need to make sure the home is move-in ready. What do we mean by move-in ready? Start by ensuring a cleaning service professionally cleans the rental unit. This includes steam cleaning all the carpets and removing any stains.

Next, landlords should have professional service providers make any necessary repairs before a tenant moving into the unit. Along with necessary repairs, be sure to perform regular maintenance tasks, which can include: replacing blown light bulbs, changing batteries in smoke alarms, installing new HVAC filters, tightening cabinet drawer hinges and changing locks.

Keep in mind, there may be instances when there won’t be enough time to complete every move-in ready task between tenancies. For example, a tenant may be relocating to the area for employment and need to take possession of the property almost immediately after previous tenant’s lease expires. In these instances, landlords should communicate with the new tenant and take care of the move-in ready tasks as soon as possible.

Collect First Month’s Rent and Security Deposit

Before handing over the keys to the rental property, landlords should have the tenant sign and return the lease. In addition, landlords should collect the first month’s rent and security deposit from the tenant. The only exception to this rule is in the case of Section 8 housing when the government rent payment may not arrive until the Section 8 tenant has occupied your rental unit.

Rental Property Inspection and Move-In Checklist

The last step of the landlord’s tenant move-in procedure for your North Carolina rental home is to review the move-in checklist and have the tenant conduct a property inspection. Tenants should be given a specific timeline (24 – 48 hours) for inspecting your rental unit and noting any issues. For example, missing blinds, loose cabinet doors, torn screens, a broken shelf in the refrigerator, marks on the walls and all of the possible defects should be noted on the move-in checklist.

Once this move-in property inspection is complete, tenants should sign, date and return the move-in checklist to the landlord. This checklist is essential to both the tenant and landlord because it allows them to compare the move-in property conditions to the conditions when the lease ends and the tenant moves out. It is also useful for documenting any maintenance or repair issues which need to be addressed.

Keep in mind that the above information is only a guideline for landlords. Depending on the situation and location of the rental property, there may be other items necessary to include on a landlord’s tenant move-in checklist. Do you have any further questions about this topic or would you like to discuss Red Door Company’s North Carolina property management services? If so, do not hesitate to contact us today to speak with a member of our team.