Relocating to a new Dallas rental house can be an inspiring experience. However, it’s also the best chance to protect your security deposit: a pre-move-in walkthrough inspection. While some landlords will provide you with a list of things to check around your rental home before you move in, others may not. Required or not, opt to perform a walkthrough inspection. It’s best to keep a few tips and tricks in mind before you go through with your pre-move-in walkthrough.
Nothing compares to the value of an in-person walkthrough. A helpful landlord may say that they have inspected the property for you, but you still need to check everything yourself. While landlords, generally, aren’t consciously trying to trick you, you still may uncover maintenance or other issues that got left out of the report. If you don’t check each part of your rental property carefully, you could wind up paying for repairing something that was broken before you moved in.
Use a Checklist
Making the most of your pre-move-in walkthrough means inspecting each part of your rental home carefully. Using a checklist is a wise thing to do so that you don’t miss out on anything. Fortunately, some landlords will provide you with a checklist. You can always choose to download checklists and guides online. Don’t miss anything — use a checklist so that your walkthrough is focused. Also, when you move out, the checklist can be used for comparison.
A checklist is an important first step in documenting your walkthrough. However, making the most of your pre-move-in inspection means going a little bit beyond simply checking off items. To fully protect your security deposit from undeserved repair charges, you need to carefully and thoroughly document each aspect of the property’s condition before you move in. Make sure you write down lots of detailed descriptions. On the checklist, or on another piece of paper, jot down notes. It’s wise to list down condition issues, locations, and other details pertinent to the property.
Most landlords won’t try to charge you to replace an entire kitchen floor for one damaged spot in the linoleum, but some might. Something that you can also do is to take pictures of the property. Take a variety of shots — close-up, wide, etc. Afterward, place the pictures somewhere safe.
Report Maintenance Issues
Once you’ve completed your walkthrough and documentation, be sure to report any maintenance issues you discovered right away. Broken toilet seats or blinds, leaky faucets, and non-functioning light switches or outlets — relatively small details, but details you need to tell your landlord. Send your landlord something in writing as proof of reported issues. This protects you from unjust accusations, as well as protects your security deposit after you leave.
Making the most of your pre-move-in walkthrough requires a bit of a process. But it’s worth it. Thoroughly documenting your rental home’s pre-move-in condition guarantees the value of your security deposit.
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