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What’s a Tenant Walk-Through?

tenant walk-through


If you’re new to the landlord world, then you’re likely wondering what a tenant walk-through is (it’s also called a move-in/move-out walk-through), or perhaps what needs to take place during this process.

Landlords, we’ve got you covered.

A tenant walk-through is exactly how it sounds

A walk-through is the process of a landlord or property manager examining the apartment with the tenants. The walk-through before the move-in allows the renters the chance to check whether the property has any damage, as well as informally inspecting the overall condition of the property.

The walk-through helps all the parties involved because it allows the tenant to point out any wear and tear or other damages that may or may not have been caused by the tenant.

This is the tenant’s chance to point out any concerns before a deposit refund is disbursed and/or used to fix any damages. Tenants should point out any specific damages during move-in walk-throughs and document these damages so they aren’t charged after they move out.

This is also an opportunity for the landlord to see the condition of the rental property and to answer any questions the tenant might have.

While a tenant walk-through is typically required for all move-outs, if one doesn’t take place (or a thorough one doesn’t occur), then issues could arise later on. For example, if the tenant doesn’t receive his or her deposit back yet expects it, then he or she could try to dispute the charges. But the landlord has every right to take money from the deposit if damages have been caused by the renter, and the landlord doesn’t want to get stuck with these costs.

During the walk-through, it’s essential for the tenant to point out any possible damages to any areas of the apartment, from the bedroom to the kitchen to the bathroom to the living room, even if it’s just a scratch on the ground or a minor ding on the wall. It’s also in the tenant’s best interest to take photos of the apartment before moving in and before moving out so he or she can show the landlord physical proof and not be held reliable for something he or she didn’t do.

While it’s not always cut and dried, the landlord needs to be able to distinguish the differences between damages and normal wear and tear. Wear and tear occurs naturally over time, whereas damage is caused by the tenant.

There are different forms of damages, from a hole in the wall to an outbreak of bugs and other pests.

While the landlord should be made aware of an outbreak well before the walk-through process, not all tenants are good tenants, and therefore they might not point out this problem. It might well be their living conditions that caused the outbreak. That said, it’s typically the landlord’s responsibility to take care of residential pest control and keep infestations away. The at-fault party can be named at a later time, but it’s the landlord’s duty to ensure the problem doesn’t worsen.

A tenant walk-through is an important part of the move-in and move-out process. Landlords and tenants should take advantage of the tenant walk-through to ensure either party isn’t at fault for damages.

If you need help streamlining the rental process, from screening your tenants to listing your property, then Turbo Tenant can help. They offer free software to landlords and property managers to help them manage all tenants. While move-in/move-out walk-throughs don’t always go as smoothly as planned, having all of your paperwork in order can help.

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