Executing and Recording The Move In Inspection

The  move in inspection is a document with serious legal ramifications. Without a complete and executed move in inspection, management has no documentation to show the condition of the apartment at the time of move in.  An executed document shows the resident accepted the condition of the apartment with whatever notated findings.

There are several methods to insure return of the move in inspection.

  • Completing the move in inspection immediately after the lease signing.  Both management and the resident sign off.  The document is complete.
  • Companies allowing a longer period of time might retain the mailbox key image.  Trading the mailbox key for a completed move in inspection.

Follow Up Visit

Scheduling a follow up visit to insure completion of any additional repairs can create positive customer service.  The resident should be able to anticipate a response from the management company for any items documented on the move in inspection.

Are the items reflective of wear and tear from the previous resident or are there repair items to be completed?

Including Maintenance

Including maintenance team members in the move in process for the inspection and orientation can provide a number of benefits.

  • The maintenance team receives first hand feedback on the condition of the apartment home-preferably positive.  If repairs are identified, the completion can be immediate.  The awareness of the deficiency becomes a focus point for apartment prep in the future.
  • Maintenance can explain the operation of the thermostat, heating or cooling systems, and electrical features, such as outlets that are controlled by wall switches.
  • imageIncluding maintenance staff for the move in inspection can eliminate the need to schedule an appointment for any repairs.  Small minor  repairs can be resolved instantly.

The  underlying symptom is the failure to monitor a review of move ins after the lease has been signed.  Missing documents, errors with lease dates and missing signatures are not identified until a legal procedure is in process.

The new move in is cited for unpaid rent, only to find that the items on the move in inspection have not been repaired, attempting to document charges for damages at the time of move out is inconclusive because the move in inspection was not returned.

Best practices install a process to audit the documents following a move in.  In the maintenance call back, should be a function to contact new move ins to make sure all items were repaired, and offer the opportunity to add to the inventory if anything additional has been identified.

Perfect Move In Inspections

Recognizing the occasions that  maintenance and housekeeping prepare a defect free move in, offers an opportunity to stress the importance of this document and the function of the move in inspection to the portion of the team that may not understand the impact and ramifications of this document.

Lori Hammond
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Lori Hammond

Thirty plus years experience in an industry best characterized as "no two days are the same" provides the foundation for Lori Hammond's experience in Property Management.With education and career experiences in Mid-Michigan, the audience for the blog Property Management Minutes is growing.Connect with her on , Linkedin, and on Blog.
Lori Hammond
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4 thoughts on “Executing and Recording The Move In Inspection

  1. Lori, I agree with you that the move-in should be documented. One of my peeves has been the “good” rating placed on the form. I have never found out what good meant. This form is important and, in the past, we have adopted a post move-in walk through. That allows the tenant to live a few days in the unit and note things that require correction.

  2. My managers are required to fill out the move in inspection form when they do their final inspection of the apartment home. They are taught to be specific, such as “2 inch stain on living room carpet by the patio door”. With this specificity, we can charge for additional staining or excessive dirt. If we leave it to the resident to fill out, they will simply write “carpet stained”, which would then allow them to spill as much red wine as they want, without charge.

    When they come to move in, this becomes a resident service as we let them know that we have already inspected the apartment home, and noted items for which they will not be charged at move out. We ask them to sign the form, and give them a copy. We let them know that if they find something that we have missed, just give us a call and we will bring our copy and make adjustments to the form. They never call back, and we always have good move in information for assessing charges at move out.