MOVE IN/MOVE OUT
When you have a new tenant moving in to a rental property either you as an owner or your property manager should conduct a move in inspection with the tenant and a move out inspection when the lease expires. Your report should be consistent with the kind of detail you would need if the tenant decides to challenge the disposition in court. Such detail includes noting the condition of the paint, doors, baseboards, flooring, inside cabinets, landscaping etc. Make sure that you use the same report for the move in as the move out so that the same items are noted. Also, take lots of pictures right before the tenant’s take possession and during the move out inspection. Be sure that the power and water are on for both the move in and move out because you can’t go back once the reports are signed and add items without the tenant present.
When conducting the move out, do not commit to the tenant on what the charges will be – instead explain that you need to review all of the documentation and pictures and will call them to review once complete. Remember you only have 14 business days in Arizona to get the disposition in the mail so be sure to give yourself enough time after the move out to really thoroughly review everything. Keep in perspective that the security deposit is the tenant’s money and therefore can only be applied to actual tenant damages.