The relationship between landlords and tenants requires honesty and accountability. But, that is not how things always pan out. As a landlord or commercial property manager, conducting thorough commercial space inspections is necessary foresight before a new tenant moves in or a current one moves out.
Why Are Move-In & Move-Out Inspections Important?
Creates Traceability Of Conditions
You can never be too sure how long tenants will call a rental space home. By the time the lease is over, it can be difficult to remember the initial condition of the space.
Having a move-in inspection protects you from accountability over damages caused by the tenant. With all the details that a move-in inspection should cover, many property companies use an inspection checklist. This way, you can trace back to the initial conditions of the rental space.
For example, if there is water damage on the floors, note this on the checklist and you can make the necessary repairs. If a tenant leaves a giant hole in the wall that wasn’t there when they moved in, you can include this in your deposit deductions.
From a financial standpoint, this means you won’t have to pay for any repair costs that were not your fault. From a legal position, this protects your business from undue legal claims.
Inspections at the handover of the premises hold all parties responsible and accountable for the care and proper maintenance of the property.
Images Tell A Thousand Words
While a simple checklist can be enough for property companies, visual evidence is vital when managing a property. As with the checklist, images or videos record the condition of the property. Images also allow for a visual comparison of the condition before and after occupation.
This makes it easier to consider the normal wear and tear of the space. Normal wear and tear are the changes to a space that occur as a result of people using the space. An example is scuff marks on the floors.
Taking pictures when accepting the premises back is just as important. Include those pictures in your final correspondence with your tenant. These pictures are important evidence and safety nets for both parties. If your former tenants make false damage claims, you have the visual proof and communication to back you.
Pictures are also particularly helpful if both you and the tenant cannot be present for either inspection and/or third parties are used for inspection services.
Digital Signatures Provide Proof Of Agreement
The keyword in any agreement is communication! Sending pictures of the condition, emailing the complete checklist, forwarding written concerns or issues - you must do all of the above.
Your digital correspondence with the tenant is proof of an agreement between you. The exchanges also serve as proof if there are any issues and disputes that occur.
It is important to have interactions written via email, or visually documented so that you can access them if necessary.
It’s not just for your organisation - tenants expect it too
With too many arguments, disputes and tweets about unjust landlords, tenants have started to expect move-in and move-out inspections too. Nobody wants to work or live in a space where you have to fear that any scratch or mark may end up getting taken from your bank account - even if they were there before you!
By providing detailed, transparent inspection checklist reports with good quality images, you end up starting the relationship with new tenants with proper experience and congratulating them justly when they move forward from your lease. Make sure to get the most of these two customer touchpoints.
Move-in and move-out inspections are about protecting your business, keeping everybody accountable but not forgetting what it also matters for the tenants themselves. Disputes with your tenants can affect your bottom line and insurance and lead to legal repercussions. Keep a step ahead of this and take inspections seriously!
If you're looking for a mobile solution for Move-in and Move-out inspections, have a look at our tool audits.io and start a 30-day free trial today:
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io