A move-out inspection is an important part of getting your property ready for a new tenant. It lets you know what wear and tear has been done to different aspects of the home and what repairs you’ll need to make to get it ready for a new tenant. However, this is also the deciding factor as to how much of their security deposit the old tenant will receive, making it a big deal for them as well. Making sure the inspection is thorough and fair is the only way to make every party content with the outcome.

Take Your Time

One of the most common mistakes made during a move-out inspection is rushing through it the first time and then finding more damages later. Especially if you allow the tenant to do the walk-through with you, many people feel bad taking up their time and feel pressured to get things done quickly. However, this will only cause more frustrations later either because you have to take more out of their deposit than they were expecting, or because you now have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket.

Use a Checklist

Preferably the same checklist you used to inspect the property before the current tenant moved in. This way you can make sure you don’t miss any area of the property. This will also give you an easy list to give your tenant so they know why certain things were taken out of their deposit.

Document Your Findings

One of the most important things you can do during an inspection is to take pictures of everything you find. Make sure a date is attached to each one. This way if there is a problem in the property, you have physical evidence that will prove the damage happened while the old tenant was living there and protect you if they try to fight back with a dispute case.

Don’t Make Premature Promises

Even if you’re sure you had an amazing tenant that would never cause any damages to your property, it’s dangerous to even allude to the idea they will get their entire deposit back. Even if you verbally agree to something, it could be held against you if you end up acting otherwise. Because of this, it’s best to simply wait until after the inspection to mention the deposit.


Let your tenant know when you plan on doing the inspection at least one week in advance. This way they have time to repair any damages on their own and earn back their deposit. Ask them what their new residence will be and get a phone number in case you have trouble getting them their deposit back.