The completion of a move in inspection is a document with serious legal ramifications. Without a complete and executed move in inspection, management has no documentation to show the condition of the apartment at the time of move in. An executed document shows the resident accepted the condition of the apartment with whatever notated findings.
There are several methods to ensure return of the move in inspection.
- The move in inspection is completed with the resident by management immediately following the lease signing. Both parties sign off and the document is complete.
- Companies that allow a longer period of time might retain the mailbox key requiring return of the move in inspection before the mailbox key is issued to the resident.
Scheduling a follow up visit to insure completion of any additional repairs can create positive customer service. The resident should be able to anticipate a response from the management company for any items documented on the move in inspection.
Are the items reflective of wear and tear from the previous resident or are there repair items to be completed?
Including maintenance team members in the move in process for the inspection and orientation can provide a number of benefits.
- The maintenance team receives first hand feedback on the condition of the apartment home-preferably positive, but in the instances that a resident points out a repair or cleaning item that was overlooked, the experience will create an impression that will insure the item is not likely to be overlooked in the future.
- Maintenance can explain the operation of the thermostat, heating or cooling systems, and electrical features, such as outlets that are controlled by wall switches.
- Including maintenance staff for the move in inspection can eliminate the need to schedule an appointment for any repairs. Small minor repairs can be resolved instantly.
The underlying symptom is the failure to monitor a review of move ins after the lease has been signed. Missing documents, errors with lease dates and missing signatures are not identified until a legal procedure is in process.
The new move in is cited for unpaid rent, only to find that the items on the move in inspection have not been repaired, attempting to document charges for damages at the time of move out is inconclusive because the move in inspection was not returned.
Best practices install a process to audit the documents following a move in. In the maintenance call back, should be a function to contact new move ins to make sure all items were repaired, and offer the opportunity to add to the inventory if anything additional has been identified.
Recognizing the occasions that maintenance and housekeeping prepare a defect free move in, offers an opportunity to stress the importance of this document and the function of the move in inspection to the portion of the team that may not understand the impact and ramifications of this document.
|Lori Hammond | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |
Lori has 30+ years’ experience in the Property Management Industry, working with both market rate and affordable housing. Lori has been privileged to work with some tremendous industry leaders during employment tenures with Oxford Management, NHP Management, AIMCO, Alliance Residential, Boston Capital, The Sterling Group, P.K. Housing and currently Management Resources Development.