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How to check out your tenant

Checking out your tenant at the end of their tenancy is hugely important. And it should be so much more than simply taking the key back. A correct check out procedure is one of the private landlord's most effective tools when dealing with deposit disputes.

What is checking out?

Essentially the tenant hands the property back to you. The check out should be done as soon as the tenancy ends. You should ensure the tenant is present when the check out takes place. It's certainly in their best interest to be there.

Depending on what you find you may need to make a deduction from the security deposit. If the tenant is with you at the check out inspection they will be able to offer their point of view.

During the check out you will inspect the property and compare it to the original inventory. You need to take photographs and notes. This is so you can compile an accurate report of the condition at the end of the tenancy compared to how it was when the tenant moved in. By comparing the checkout report to the inventory you will be able to see whether there is any damage or anything is missing. You can then calculate how much you need to deduct from the security deposit.

All that sounds a lot of work

It can be. But it's also essential to work. The check out report together with the inventory will become vital evidence should any deposit dispute with your tenant go to arbitration. In any arbitration process, you as the private landlord have to prove your case. The check out report will go a long way to doing this for you.

Independent check outs

As we've discussed checking out your tenant involves some work. It can also take some time. Not only in physically inspecting the property but in taking the photos and compiling the report. You also need to ensure you don't miss anything.

This is why many private landlords take advantage of the MakeUrMove check out service. We will arrange for an independent clerk to meet your tenant and conduct the checking out procedure. The clerk will document the key hand over, conduct a thorough inspection of the property and record any meter readings.

The clerk will then compile a report which accurately documents the condition of the property at check out. The next step is to compare the checkout report to the original inventory. This allows the clerk to note any missing items or damage which the tenant is responsible for.

Why a check out is so important

We mentioned earlier the importance of check out should the tenant dispute any deductions from their security deposit. Without a final inspection report, you will find it very difficult to prove your case to an adjudicator or judge. But a checkout document, especially one compiled by an independent professional, will provide compelling evidence. Armed with this report you are far more likely to recover the costs you incur for any damage or end of tenancy cleaning.

The checkout report may also convince your tenant not to dispute any deductions. Often when confronted with evidence the tenant will accept responsibility. This will save you the hassle of having to go to arbitration.

Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the original online letting agency.

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