Do you own and manage rental property in Walworth County? If so, this post could save you thousands of dollars. Most lost funds are incurred by landlords when a tenant moves out. Repairing and replacing household items adds up. There is normally a dispute between the landlord and the tenant over the property’s condition at the time of the tenant’s move-out. You can avoid this type of situation by clearly defining the condition of your property at the time of move-in and defining the condition your property should be left in when the tenant moves out. Learn how to withhold security deposits without complaints from your tenants.
6 Money Saving Tips for Landlords from our Walworth County Real Estate Attorney
1. Video the Tenant Walk-Through. It’s time to get out your camcorder, camera, or mobile phone and use the video feature. Be sure to include the date, time, and name of your future tenants. Video record the entire walk-through with your potential tenants. Try to get a 360 degree view of each room. Include the tenants in each room view. Have your future tenants and yourself comment on the condition of each room. You will take the video seriously. Your tenants will take the video seriously, especially when you have them state their names as listed on the lease agreement. This pre-move-in video will make it very difficult for any tenant to dispute the condition of your property at the time of move-in.
2. Take Photographs During the Walk-Through. If you do not have access to a video recorder, take photographs. Document the condition of each item inside and outside of your Walworth County real estate property. Your tenant will notice your documentation of the property and, in turn, should be more careful while occupying your property. Taking photographs during the tenant walk-through also allows you to easily compare before and after photos. If needed, you will have the proof you need of an item’s condition in case a dispute arises.
3. Take Your Time During the Walk-Through. This is not the time to rush. The walk-through with your tenant is one of the most important processes when renting or leasing your Walworth County real estate property. Be extremely thorough documenting anything that could potentially be damaged during the lease timeframe. Note the condition of items such as: the lawn, wall paint, trim, front door, screen, windows, roof, flooring, garage doors, fence, appliances, and more.
4. Create Room Condition Sheets and Have Them Signed. Create room condition sheets for each room in your Walworth County rental property. List items such as: condition of paint, condition of trim, condition of carpet, etc. with a place for comments. Complete the condition sheet for each room with the tenant as you walk-through the rental property. When the walk-through is complete, have the tenants sign the forms agreeing to the condition of the property.
5. Include a Replacement Cost List. During the lease signing, go over a replacement cost list of typical items that get replaced after a move-out. Layout the cost for replacing door knobs, filling holes in the wall, replacing light fixtures, repairing broken windows, cleaning the refrigerator, shampooing carpets, repairing tile floors, etc. When the tenant moves out, there should be no surprise when it comes to repair and replacement costs.
6. Execute a Pre-Move-Out Inspection. If you have the opportunity, perform a pre-move-out inspection at least one week before the tenant moves out. Take photographs. Bring your property condition sheets and your repair and replacement cost sheet. Leave copies with your tenant noting items that need to be cleaned, repaired, and/or replaced. Be sure your tenant understands the costs involved if you need to clean, repair, or replace items yourself. This gives your tenant a chance to fix items and save security deposit monies before moving out. It will also be less work on your maintenance team. Bring your maintenance crew during the pre-move-out inspection. They will know ahead of time what they may need to clean, repair, and replace, as well as any parts that need to be ordered.
Our Walworth County real estate attorney knows that no landlord wants to end up in court over a security deposit dispute. If you have a thorough and consistent plan in place, you should be able to avoid not only repair and replacement costs, but also court costs as well.
Contact our Walworth County Real Estate Attorney
If you have questions for our Walworth County real estate attorney regarding landlord tenant issues, feel free to contact our office at any time. Our Walworth County real estate law offices are conveniently located in Muskego, Salem, Delavan, and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. You can reach our Walworth County real estate attorney by phone at 262-725-0175 or by email via our website’s contact page.
*The content and material on this web page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.