Why is a move-in inspection report a key component to running a successful investment property?

I recently had a discussion with a veteran mediator at the LTB (Landlord Tenant Board) concerning the nature of most cases they encounter. Rent falling in arrears is the predominant reason why Landlords and Tenants find themselves dealing with the tribunal however the root cause of this issue is not always a product of a financial predicament. Having been in the business of real estate investment and a property manager in Toronto, I have had my share of experiences with Tenants and see how, if open dialogue and proper expectations are not established early, simple issues can escalate into serious ones.

The best way to mitigate LTB escalations and tenant cognitive dissonance (http://abranddayout.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/post-purchase-cognitive-dissonance-avoiding-disappointment-requires-honesty/) is to have a solid application process when it comes to screening tenants, a stellar leasing document clearly outlining roles, expectations, and protocols and finally a move-in/move out inspection report.

Why would a move/in out report be so critical to the success of the relationship? One way, is that it provides a framework/starting point that is agreed on by both parties. It virtually eliminates any ambiguity as to the condition of the property and ultimately protects both the Landlord and Tenant.

In provinces like British Colombia a move-in inspection it is the law however in Ontario it is merely recommended. An inspection report should be thorough and detailed. Below is a list of some considerations to include in the report:

Walk through each room in the unit, and inspect trim, window sills, make note of cracks, discolouration in carpets or damaged floors, leaks etc. Working smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are a must as well. With bathrooms, check the water pressure and temperature (turn all facets on and flush the toilet), electrical outlets, as well as the heating/cooling system for the house. Examine tiles, exterior doors and windows, balcony or deck. Even smell the unit to ensure there is no odor. Check that all appliances are working properly and test the functionality of locks.

The list is extensive but it provides the tenant and landlord a clear picture of the state of the unit and an opportunity to fix any outstanding issues. The inspection is the first step to building a solid relationship between tenant and landlord.

Mekler Property Management offers property management services in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information please visit us at www.Mekler.ca – We help you be a landlord without being the landlord!

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2 Comments to “Why is a move-in inspection report a key component to running a successful investment property?”

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