Landlords should always, without exception, conduct a preliminary walk-though at the rental unit, with the tenant, before the tenant moves in. The landlord should also do a similar walk through when the tenant is about to leave the rental unit.
The move in/out form will detail every item in every room of the rental unit. The landlord and tenant can check off the condition of the rooms. It is crucial for the landlord to do this, and to have the tenant sign at move in and again at move out. This will greatly protect the landlord against claims of damage and habitability defenses in the event that an eviction is necessary. It will also help the landlord when it comes time to account for the security deposit.
Landlords: Make sure you conduct a preliminary walk through with all tenants before they move in to your property!
Here’s what a typical move in/out form might look like (you should include pages for every room in the unit):
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