A Go-To Move Out Checklist for Landlords

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A go-to move out checklist is an essential tool for landlords. Moving tenants out of rental units requires thoroughness and keen observation, which a move out checklist assists with. It also serves as an official record of wear and tear in a suite.

A move out checklist for landlords requires both the tenant and the property manager or owner to walk through the unit before the tenant moves out. During this walk through, the condition of the unit and possible damages will be recorded while both parties are present.A walk through and assessment like this determines whether or not the unit is ready for the arrival of a new tenant. Showing an empty suite is part of attracting the right tenants, and sometimes the smallest blemish can turn prospects away.

What to Look for During a Walk Through

If your apartment can pass this checklist with flying colors, you should have no problem meeting the highest standards.

  1. Ensure each plug in is in working order by plugging in a cell phone charger, alarm clock, etc.
  2. Look at the paint in each room on the baseboards, walls, and ceilings. Make sure there are no holes, scratches, or patches of unattractive flaking paint.
  3. Test every window in the unit by sliding it open and closed. It should properly lock, too. Examine their screens as well, and check for rips.
  4. Try every appliance—stove, oven, dishwasher, and fridge. Just because the tenant didn’t complain about it doesn’t mean it’s in proper working order. Put the dishwasher on a cycle, turn on each burner, and turn on the oven.
  5. Check any wall attachments—shelves, towel holders, toilet paper holders, etc.—for stability. The last thing you want is someone to lean on it during a showing, and it comes off the wall.
  6. Conduct a test of every carbon monoxide and smoke detector in the unit.
  7. Use the blinds and the rods to ensure they open, close, raise, and lower properly.
  8. Examine the weather stripping on the exterior doors to ensure the seal is still tight.
  9. Flush each toilet and check for leaks. Make sure the ball cock assembly is working by opening the tank. The rubber flap shouldn’t be warped, either.
  10. Test railings inside and on the balcony for stability.
  11. Turn on the heating and cooling systems, and examine the thermostat, vents, and filters.
  12. Run the kitchen and bathroom faucets and test for pressure. Look for proper drainage and make sure they aren’t dripping.
  13. Test all the door hardware in the unit. Open the doors to ensure they aren’t sticky.
  14. If the unit has a sliding screen or glass door, check the tracks for any resistance.
  15. Turn on each light and look for burnt bulbs and malfunctioning switches.
  16. If you need to repair any damages before showing the unit, ensure all equipment (cleaning supplies, toolbox, painter’s tape, etc.) is no longer in the suite.

Once the tenant has moved out of the apartment, it’s also wise to check the building’s exterior before a showing. Walk the entire perimeter of the property and keep an eye out for garbage, hazards, or discarded items left behind. Also, take a moment to step into the shoes of the potential applicant. Go across the street and look at your apartment from that perspective. Are any shingles missing? Do the shrubs look overgrown? Make sure the exterior is in pristine condition.

Maintenance issues have a funny way of sneaking up on you. With this checklist, though, you can stay ahead of them. Checking these issues in between tenants will keep your property in tip-top shape. Even the pickiest applicants won’t have anything to complain about.

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