Property Management Blog

Rental Inspection Best Practices Explained by an Edmonds Property Manager

System - Monday, September 4, 2017


There are three different types of landlord inspections that you’ll perform at your rental property. These are the move-in inspection, the periodic inspection, and the move-out inspection. Today, we are offering rental inspection best practices.

Move-In Inspection

The move-in inspection is conducted before a tenant moves into your property. The purpose is to document the condition of the home before you turn over the keys. Make sure you take a lot of photos. We recommend that you stand in every corner of every room and take at least two or three pictures. This will give you a great set of pictures to reference later on if there’s a dispute or a question, and you need to compare the move-in condition to the move-out condition. After you take the photos and write a written report of what you find during the inspection, have your tenant sign off on the condition of the home. In Washington State, the move in inspection, key exchange, and receipt of security deposit, all happen at the same time.

Periodic Inspections

A landlord walk through and inspection should be done every six to eight months. At the least, you want to do this once a year while your tenant is in place. It’s a good opportunity to make sure the tenant is taking care of the property and following the terms of the lease. It also allows you to check for any preventative maintenance. During this walk through inspection, check the crawl space. This is an important part of keeping your home dry, protected, and free of pests. If you have not been in the crawl space or the attic recently, check those areas out the next time you inspect.

Move-Out Inspection

Once your tenants move out, you’ll want to do another inspection to see if there is any damage. Your landlord move out checklist should be used to ensure everything is clean and working. Set up the expectations with your tenants a few weeks before they move out. Send a letter with your checklist so they know what they have to do to get their security deposit back.

If you have any questions about inspections, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Miller Laine Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more.