A tenant check out should always be carried out professionally, regardless of your relationship with the tenant. This is the best time to evaluate the state of the property and to work out how much of the deposit should be kept in order to account for any damages and the subsequent repairs.
Here are our top tips on making a tenant check out as smooth as possible:
Get in touch with the tenant a few weeks before their tenancy comes to an end, remind them that you will be coming over to complete a checkout and arrange for a convenient time to do this. By reminding the tenant in advance, they will have time to review their copy of the inventory and will also have time to clean up if necessary.
Ask your tenant to be present
The process of checking out a tenant can be sped up if the tenant is present as anything that is in an unacceptable condition can be discussed immediately. This is also fairer for both the landlord, who will not have to chase the tenant for explanations, and for the tenant, who is given the chance to explain the condition of item or the property. Pictures taken of the property before the tenancy commenced could be very helpful at this stage.
Remember to allow for reasonable ‘wear and tear’
It is important to remember that your tenant has been living in the property, meaning that it will never be in the exact same condition as prior to the tenancy. The property is likely to have deteriorated naturally to a certain extent and it’s not fair to retain some of your tenant’s deposit for this reason.
An example of fair wear and tear would be the sofa being reasonably frayed and grubby, however if one of the sofa arms is falling off, then the tenant can be charged.
Wait until the last minute
Try to do the check out on the actual day that the tenant is moving out. This is one of the best times because the property will be as empty as possible, revealing the entire property and any hidden damage. It will also ensure that the tenant has taken all of their belongings while your inventory remains intact. Do not sign any paperwork until the tenant has completely moved out.
Take your time
If you feel that you need more time to assess any damage that has occurred and the costs associated with cleaning, repairing or replacing items – then be sure to take it. Source quotes from various companies and remember that replacements should be like for like. You can’t charge for a plush new sofa chair if the one broken is a standard wooden one.
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