Move-In/Move-Out Walk-Through Checklist
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: 6/3/2021
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State Specific Clauses
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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.
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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