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Rent Ready Checklist & Troubleshooting Guide

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

If you’ve spent thousands on an investment property, the last thing that you want is to lease it to a tenant, only to find out that they have completely trashed the place when they move out.

A property inspection report is the only real way to protect yourself from tenant claims, because it details the condition and items in the unit before and after the tenant moves in.

Getting one might seem like a hassle, but it is well worth it in case the tenant turns out to not be respectful of your property.

Where to Get a Property Inspection Report

There are several companies in the Issaquah area that offer home inspections, and these work for both pre- and after moving out inspections. You can call all of them, compare prices for the specific unit, and then set up an inspection date with the tenant. It is important to have the tenant and yourself in attendance. You then have to create a move in and move out checklist, with an overall report of the condition of the property. When the tenant moves out, you simply repeat the process, and they pay for any non-normal wear and tear items. Many landlords choose to use photos to document the area for comparison after the tenant moves out.

Defining Normal Wear and Tear

It is also important to define normal wear and tear in your report if you expect it to be useful. Normal wear and tear usually includes basic use related wear, minor cleaning issues, and accidental damage. Anything else can and should be paid for by the tenant. You should consider having a real estate lawyer, or your property management company write up the document for you.


Most landlords also choose to write out both a cleaning and a maintenance checklist for tenants so that they leave the unit as they found it. Making tenants aware of the fact that they are responsible for keeping the carpets, floors, walls, and windows clean and in good condition is also important. Many landlords also add paint clauses to ensure that the tenants leave the rooms in the same colors as when they moved in.

Getting Signatures

Finally, you want to make sure that the tenants legally agree that any damage to the unit is at their expensive. Both you and the tenant should sign the property inspection report to ensure that you both understand which party is responsible for which damage, and so that you have something legally binding in case the tenant chooses not to respect the property.

If you’re not sure where or how to get started with property inspection reports then hiring an Issaquah property manager is a great way around the issue. A professional property manager will ensure that all of your properties are inspected, so that you don’t have to worry about paying for damage after the tenants leave.

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