Do you have to give a copy of the entry checklist to the tenant? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals. Here is this week’s question:

Dear Landlord Hank,

Is a landlord required to give a copy of the entry checklist, noting the condition of the unit, to the new tenant? – Marge

Dear Marge,

I don’t know of any legal requirement in either Georgia or Florida for you do a condition and inventory checklist or give copy to tenant, when a tenant is moving in or out.  Be sure to check laws in your state.

BUT, from an honest businessman perspective I like to keep everything as transparent as possible.

I always take time to do a thorough inspection of the unit with the tenants. I date the form and make sure the complete address is noted. Too, I note any negatives in each room or write “OK” on the inspection sheet. Also I note keys, fobs, garage remotes, etc. and quantity of each given to tenant, and have tenant sign the sheet. I sign it as well.

Email a copy of the checklist

I then email them a copy of the inspection checklist later that day.

I also note that all light bulbs are working, that the property was just painted and that the property was professionally deep cleaned, on the form.

At times I take a photo of an issue. We now have a standard of comparison for when tenant moves out.

If you have even the slightest hint that there could be trouble at lease end, then take loads of photos of everything and save them to your computer (hopefully it’s being backed up regularly).

I try to have all my properties in tip top shape when someone moves in. But, sometimes there may be a minor defect to be noted-maybe a small chip in a tile, etc.

I tell tenants that I will be doing the walk through when they leave. Now we both know the starting condition of the property.

I want to be fair to tenants and not charge them for damage they didn’t cause.

Being a property manager, I have an app on my phone where I can do a property inspection from my phone and email results including all photos to tenants and keep for when tenant moves out.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

Also see Hank’s recent post: Dear Landlord Hank: Do You Conduct Rental Inspections? How Often?

About the author:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.

Does a landlord have to give a copy of the checklist to tenant upon entry? Ask Landlord Hank

Photo by Krzysmam via istockphoto.com