Move-In/Move-Out Checklists – Why aren’t more Idaho landlords doing them?
Maybe it’s happened to you – your Idaho tenant moves out, leaves a lot of damage behind at your rental property, and you keep the security deposit to cover the costs of repair.
But then, your tenant sues you in small claims court for the return of the deposit. How do you show the court that you were justified in keeping the security deposit? What if the tenant shows up with photos claiming to depict little or no actual damage?
You need to come fully prepared with evidence to justify keeping the security deposit. One of the best things Idaho landlords can do to protect their interests in these situations to insist on a signed move-in/move-out checklist at the time you agree to rent the property to your tenant.
But this should not just be a checklist filled out by the landlord. Rather, the landlord and tenant should fill it out together during a move-in walk-through, and then do it together again during a move-out walk-through. Both landlord and tenant should sign the checklist and keep a copy.
I know – what a pain! It can sometimes be difficult to arrange a joint-walk-through with your tenant, particularly upon move-out. But the existence of the signed checklist, along with the joint walk-through, will reduce the chance that you’ll end up in court.
The Idaho Attorney General provides an excellent move-in/move-out checklist in its Landlord Tenant Guidelines. I highly recommend that you copy this checklist and customize it as needed. Then, make sure you make time to do a thorough walk-through with your tenant. I can assure you that it will save you time, money and stress!
Questions? Contact Us at Amanda Breen Law for answers!
– Amanda Breen, Attorney at Law
Amanda Breen Law, PLLC; PO Box 3898, 371 Walnut Ave. N., Ketchum, Idaho 83340; email@example.com