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Management Documents

Move-In/Move-Out Walk-Through Checklist

3.3 Stars

This form is designed to document the condition of a rental unit both at move-in and at move-out, to determine what damage the tenant caused.

Document Last Modified: 7/22/2020

Document Features

State-Specific See State Specific Clauses

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State Specific Clauses

WA State Assist


If any moneys are paid to the landlord by the tenant as a deposit or as security for performance of the tenant's obligations in a lease or rental agreement, the lease or rental agreement shall be in writing and shall include the terms and conditions under which the deposit or portion thereof may be withheld by the landlord upon termination of the lease or rental agreement.

If all or part of the deposit may be withheld to indemnify the landlord for damages to the premises for which the tenant is responsible, the rental agreement shall be in writing and shall so specify.

No such deposit shall be withheld on account of normal wear and tear resulting from ordinary use of the premises.


There are no restrictions on the maximum amount that may be collected as a security deposit, however;

  • The landlord must provide an inspection checklist signed by both parties stating the condition and cleanliness of the premises along with a written rental agreement.

    The tenant has the right to request one free replacement copy of the written checklist.
    BEWARE: If the landlord collects a deposit without providing a written checklist at the commencement of the tenancy, the landlord may be liable to the tenant for the amount of the deposit, and the prevailing party may recover court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. This does not limit the tenant's right to recover moneys paid as damages or security.
  • The landlord must describe in the lease the conditions under which a deposit may be retained.
  • The landlord must place the deposit in a trust account in Washington and give the tenant a receipt indicating its location.

IMPORTANT: If any type of fee or refundable deposit is being paid, the agreement must be in writing.

WARNING: No such deposit shall be withheld on account of normal wear and tear resulting from ordinary use of the premises.

Landlords/property managers are required to account for any expenses which will be taken from a tenant’s Security Deposit for damages at the end of a tenancy. The best and most accurate way to assess what damages were caused by the tenant, is to track the condition of the home from the start by using the ezLandlordForms Move-In/Move-Out Checklist.

The Move-In/Move-Out Checklist is comprehensive, reliable, and convenient. At or just prior to lease signing, you should plan a walk-through appointment with your tenants. Every room is accounted for on the Move-In/Move Out Checklist however if your property encompasses additional rooms not accounted for in the Move-In/Move-Out Checklist, additional sheets may be used. The important thing to remember when completing the Move-In/Move-Out Checklist is that the tenant(s) and you (or your rep) walk the property together and carefully visit every room checking every item on the list.

The form has a section for notes, and, of course, dates and signatures. These become essential if there is ever a dispute about whether or not tenant caused damage. Keep in mind that all damages should be accounted for on the form at the time of the walk-through, regardless of how minor they may be.

Of course, you will keep a copy and maintain it in the tenant’s file. The tenant should also be given a copy immediately following the walk-through. A copy should also be made readily available should they misplace the original.

The same procedure must be followed at the time of a tenant’s move out. Be sure to schedule the move out walk through appointment for just a day or two after the tenant actually moves out. Scheduling a move-out walk-through before a tenant actually moves out can prove fruitless as there are many things that can be damaged in a move-out. Any items, including trash left in the property after move-out, should be noted on the Move-In/Move-Out Checklist.

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Quick Tips:

Addenda

No lease agreement, no matter how legally ironclad, is by itself adequate to protect the landlord. For example, does the lease have a room-by-room checklist of the property’s condition upon move-in and move-out? There are always issues that require further details no matter how comprehensive your lease agreement is. When that happens there is no need to make changes directly to the lease contract itself. By adding an addendum to your lease agreements, a number of issues can be addressed and are considered a legal and binding part of the rental contract. Landlords should always be prepared to accommodate tenants’ special requests and other necessary details with addenda. Addenda can be one page or many pages, and more than one addendum can be used to cover as many issues as the landlord finds suitable.

Use addenda to:

  • Address whether tenants are allowed to have pets, types of pets allowed, and other conditions
  • Communicate special conditions or rules and regulations
  • Authorize special privileges
  • Accommodate unusual or special request
  • Make temporary (or permanent) modifications to the original lease contract
  • Add a new tenant or remove one
  • Convey information about roommate situations
  • Provide record of move in and out condition of property

Be sure to keep signed copies of all addenda along with the signed lease agreement in case they are needed in court. Our ezLandlord lease builder includes the option to include many different addenda (some legally mandatory) in your lease package.

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