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July 13, 2021

Move-In Checklist for Landlords and Tenants

Landlords and tenants have responsibilities, and each should mind their own for a stress-free handover at the end of the tenancy. Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, you will need a move-in checklist for a pleasant experience at the handover. To some just a piece of paper, the move-in checklist is, in fact, as essential as the lease agreement. Always keep a copy of the move-in checklist as it's evidence of the property's condition when you moved in. More details about it follow right below.

What is the move-in checklist for tenants and landlords?

The move-in checklist is a document that a new tenant must fill in before moving into a new property. The paper should include every room of the rental. Typically, the checklist is offered before or upon the new tenant moves in. Most landlords give the new tenants approximately 72 hours to fill it in.

The checklist may differ from one type of room to another. However, for most rooms, you should expect to see the following items:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Carpets
  • Curtains
  • Fireplace
  • Outlets
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Furniture
  • Curtains
  • Oven
  • Cabinets
  • Stovetop
  • Refrigerator
  • Heating system/ac
  • Front/back doors
  • Pantry
  • Garbage disposal
  • Sink/drain/plumbing
  • Mailbox
  • Counter surfaces
  • Garbage disposal
  • Dishwasher
  • Storage area
  • Stairs
  • Hallway
  • Smoke/carbon detectors
  • Lawn
  • Parking area/garage
  • Storage area
  • Hallway
  • Deck/patio/balcony

You will find the items listed under the correct rooms, such as kitchen, living room, bedroom, dining room, and so on. The condition moving-in is noted in a section next to each of these items. As a tenant, you need to fill it in within 72 hours of moving in. You need to check out the keymap on the bottom/top of the page when noting.

The condition moving-out section is listed next to the moving in section. The landlords fill in the section after the previous residents move out. In case of damage beyond the usual wear and tear or improper cleaning, the landlord is allowed to deduct it from the tenants' security deposit. It's why tenants should hire professionals for end of tenancy cleaning. At Sil All Services, we are skilled to clean the tenancy to landlords’ standards.

At the bottom of every section, the document also includes the unit address, the date, and the filling time. Both the landlord and the tenant should sign the document and keep a copy of it until the handover.

What’s the role of the move-in checklist?

The move-in checklist is a document protecting both the tenants and the landlords. Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you should never undermine the importance of this document. At Sil All Services, we strongly recommend you to examine it to the most minute detail before signing it. Moving into a new property is an exciting moment, and it's common for people to be too emotional and not pay attention to the condition of the rental. At first glance, the property may look in perfect condition, and the tenant could mark accordingly on the checklist.

Few days go by, and the tenant is no longer emotional and starts noticing details that he has skipped on the first day. The furniture could be chipped, the carpets may be stained, or the upholstery could be scratched. At the end of tenancy, the tenant will have to cover the cleaning/repairing costs.

The situation can happen to the landlord, too, and the tenant has the right to use the move-in checklist against the landlord. Let's say that the landlord hasn't paid attention to the previous handover. The previous tenant was able to hide insufficient cleaning and other irregularities, and the landlord was happy with the apparent condition of the property. It’s only a matter of time until the improper condition starts revealing. Due to the move-out checklist, the landlord isn’t able to prove it.

The role for the landlords

The move-in checklist states the current conditions in the property. The landlord can hold the tenant accountable for damage happening during the tenancy based on this document. Documenting existing damage reduces the risk of any disputes between the landlord and tenant at the handover. It can help the landlord give the full deposit back or not.

The role for tenants

The rental walkthrough document helps a tenant have objective evidence of the rental's condition. The written documentation works as a piece of evidence in case of a legal dispute. The move-in checklist can work as a tool for the tenant to inventory what the landlord should improve/repair before moving in or during the tenancy.

After both the tenant and the landlord have completed the rental inspection checklist, they must sign the document. We advise both parties to keep copies of the document and keep it until the tenant moves out.

Our recommendation

At Sil All Services Northampton, we advise parties to note in the lease agreement what the tenant is responsible for to make sure that the rental unit stays in perfect condition. With a move-in checklist so crucial for both the landlord and the tenant, we recommend you to take your time when filling it in.

Don’t sign anything until you have thoroughly revised everything listed in the document. The move-in checklist can work as a legal document and a deciding factor in deposit deduction disputes. Even if Sil All Services can help with end of tenancy cleaning services to ensure a full deposit return, the document is crucial for a full deposit return.

Sil All Services Northampton - your stop for cleaning services

Whether you’re a landlord preparing for new tenants or a tenant at the end of tenancy, Sil All Services makes for the appropriate choice for deep-cleaning services. We execute many deep cleaning services: after builders cleaning, one-off cleans, after party cleaning, office deep cleaning, etc., so call us for details and a free quote.

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