There are many reasons why a tenant vacates a property, and just as many reasons why there can be damages left behind. The most important thing to remember when renting out your property is to collect a security deposit.
The security deposit is the tenant’s money and should be held in a non-interest bearing account and only used for repairs, cleaning or unpaid rent after the tenant moves out. The second most important thing to have is a record of the “move-in inspection”. This inspection will be needed once the tenant moves out to use as a reference of any rental damage done prior to move in.
Once the tenant has moved out you will need to enter the property and begin your inspection. Begin by documenting every room. Write down what you see and take pictures of any damages or discrepancies. You’ll want to be detailed in your assessment by documenting the room color, the condition of the carpet, any and all things from floor to ceiling. You will want to open closets, pull out drawers and open cupboards. Write it all down on a checklist, making sure to list each room and items inspected. It is important to document everything in writing and include a photo, because the tenant may contest any charges to them for maintenance that was needed. Next, compare the “move in” inspection the tenant recorded to your “move out” inspection. Repair items that were not damaged prior to move in. All maintenance and repairs will need to have a receipt of cost. These might be needed if you need to send the tenant to collections or the tenant argues the charges and takes you to court.
If a tenant has abandoned his/her property and faulted on the lease agreement, you will need to take a different direction when fixing the damages. Many times, the tenant moves out without giving any kind of notice. They might have left personal belongings in your property. What do you do now? The law requires a certain amount of time that those items must be stored before you are able to dispose of them. This is a good reason to use a property management company to manage your rentals. They will know and understand owner rights and the laws regarding tenants and abandoned properties.
Dealing with damages left by a tenant can be difficult, costly, and you may even wind up in court. Using a property management company like Real Property Management Wasatch can lighten your burden as an owner. We are able to handle any and all tenant move outs, inspections and security deposit refunds.
*This information is provided as a courtesy and is not to be considered legal advice in any way.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.