Don’t Trust Your Property to Memory
by David Pickron
It’s a scenario we are all familiar with, the rental car inspection process prior to receiving the keys. Think back to the last time you were asked to walk around the vehicle with your half sheet of paper with the car diagram on it, looking for any existing problems. To avoid getting charged for damages that aren’t your fault, you dutifully circle the car, notating every scratch and ding. Why does the rental agency require this? To protect their investment. Period. When it comes to your investment property, do you take similar steps to ensure that your property is delivered back to you in the same condition as when you rented it? The average car rental is 3 days and it is sometimes hard to remember what was there at the time of possession. Imagine how much more difficult it is to remember the condition of your much larger asset after a 3-year lease. Will you accurately remember every room, wall, faucet, light fixture, appliance, flooring and everything else?
Pictures and forms are great, but where do I store them so I can easily access them when my tenants decide to move out? Truthfully, the whole process is a pain and most landlords drop the ball in their move in, move out inspections, ultimately costing them money at the end of each lease. No one gets into business to lose money (at least not anyone that expects to last long as an investor). It’s not a question of should we do move in, move out inspections, but rather how we should do them.
As a landlord, for years I paid for damages created by tenants because it was easier to pay the bill than it was to fight over who was at fault. I realized that I had no leg to stand on because I had no real evidence. When something causes me pain, I look for a way to get rid of the pain. I became laser focused on creating a solution that would be both easy and effective. The result… Introducing MI-MO, Rent Perfect’s Move-In, Move-Out process, found inside your Rent Perfect Portal next to our other innovative products like tenant invites, online lease creation and more.
Here’s how it works: MI-MO starts with the new tenant receiving an invite through Rent Perfect to inspect the property. They inspect each room and accept everything that is in good working order. If something needs to be repaired, they take a picture of it with their phone and document the needed repair. They repeat the process throughout the home and after completion, you receive a notification to login to your Rent Perfect Portal and review their inspection. You have the option to either note the damage or fix the problem. Rent Perfect stores the inspection notes and accompanying pictures for the duration of your rental contract, no matter how long your tenant lives there. During your inspection of the property at move out you have photographic evidence of the condition of the property at time of occupancy. Find something wrong? Take a picture and it will automatically upload into the Rent Perfect system. You can easily compare the property condition and adjust the refunding of the security deposit based entirely on the difference in the property at move-in and move-out.
The whole goal is to prevent a situation where it is your word against the tenant. MI-MO will allow you to be transparent and your tenants will love that. Rent Perfect just took one more unnecessary fight away from the rental relationship game. I guess we can thank the rental car industry for doing something right.
Editor’s note: Members of National REIA can take advantage of special pricing from RentPerfect; the solution for rental property owners and managers for screening & managing tenants.