Initial Inspection, what is it and what happens? When you give notice to move out, the very first thing you will receive is the “Your right to request an initial inspection” form. This form is provided to you so that you can accept or decline. The initial inspection occurs the last two weeks you live in the property. The intention is to provide you an opportunity to remedy any damage so that your deposit is not deducted. The initial inspection is required by law to be offered.
During this initial inspection the housing provider will typically walk around, virtually or physically. Notating any additional damage beyond normal wear and tear. You will be given a general estimate of charges. Now, here is where it gets a little tricky.
Our job is to advise you of all potential charges. Potential being the key word here. We are giving you the worst-case scenario, as you don’t know exactly what it will look like when you move.
The scary part for property managers is that some people take this “estimate” as official charges, and often get angry. While in theory, a good idea to help residents mitigate damages, and lessen the work on us at turnover. In practice, it can sometimes lead to hostile situations.
Examples of damages or cleaning are:
- Repair worn carpet
- Repair a door jamb chewed up by a dog
- Clean soap scum in bathroom
- Dusting the ceiling fan
- Clean the baseboards
Things of note about the initial inspection:
- Property Manager must give the resident written notice of their right to request.
- This form must be returned or an appointment scheduled, it is assumed you are declining if you do not request it.
- You can request to be present or not
- You can request a 48 hour notice requirement- which basically just means we have to remind you.
- We need to provide in writing a list of repairs or cleaning for you to do to avoid charges.
- You are not required to make the repairs suggested.
After you move out, we will complete a final assessment and then work on the itemization. We have 21 days to return your deposit and/or the list of deductions. Anything that you don’t agree with should be disputed respectfully in writing with supporting evidence. Patching and painting can sometimes go very wrong, it is usually best to leave that to the manager. If you leave the property with chicken pox walls, then a full paint is required and charged, instead of a touch up.
Thoughts on this as a Property Manager
1. Be nice, the person is just doing their job.
2. If you don’t agree with something it’s OK. Put it in writing.
3. Accept or decline when this is offered, we are often planning for several and need to manage the calendar.