You know the drill. You have a tenant move into an apartment, and months later upon move out, they claim “the carpet had water damage already” or “there were holes in the walls and doors the day I moved in;” all this in an attempt to avoid costs and fees. I was once asked to refund a tenant $2000 for cleaning services, claiming that they moved into a filthy apartment. I was blind-sided, and unsure of how to respond. I ended up eating a month’s rent as consolation, not to mention I surely would end up covering the security deposit when they moved out. I wish I knew then what I know now… which is to have a property inspection done.
Fraudulent claims happen all the time. A tenant will claim that something was broken or damaged when they moved in, just to avoid losing a month’s rent worth of security deposit. That is one huge reason why having a move-out and move-in inspection done is a must – simply to protect yourself from fraudulent claims. Those reports are invaluable in a potential fraudulent claims battle.
I know that performing a property inspection is not the best part of being a landlord and/or property manager, but they are a necessary evil in this industry. It doesn’t have to be grueling, and it can become a regular part of better-business to make it a standard procedure. That’s where property inspection apps come in too, that can easily and digitally create and share inspection reports. And, by taking the hour or so to perform the inspection up front, you are saving yourself multiple hours of potential disaster later. Don’t be like the younger version of me, who operated his business on the belief that his tenants would always do right (considering it is usually their credit rating at risk).
Do your property inspections, and save money in the long run…both in the wallet and in lawyer fees!
“I swear it was like that when I moved in…” is no longer a thing.
By Greg Topps, Contributing Writer