Why Documentation Benefits the Tenant

foldersToday, we have a special post for tenants. Most people find documentation to be a pain. It’s a hassle to keep papers together and to turn it in to the right people. But, here are some scenarios which will show why documentation benefits you as a tenant.

Signing Your Rental Agreement

It’s important that you have a copy of your agreement. Read the document clearly and takes notes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pay special attention to late charge terms, security deposit terms, and maintenance responsibilities. Notice the financial grace period, the policy on security deposit refunds, and who is responsible for repairs. You may get a move in/move out checklist from your agent or landlord. If not, ask if they can give you one. This will make the move in/move out process easier on you and you agent or landlord. Before you sign anything, be sure that the property is in the same shape as described in the agreement.

Moving In

Make sure to document any defects you find at move-in. Do a thorough inspection yourself, even if your landlord claims to have done one already. Bring another witness with you as you complete your inspection. You could even document the inspection via pictures or video. Any defects you find needs to be reported to your landlord as soon as possible. Even better, hand deliver the documents or mail it with proof of mailing. Keep all copies of your inspection documentation.

Moving Out

Give at least a 30 day notice of your departure. This notice needs to be in writing. Again, hand delivering the document or mailing it with proof of mailing. Keep a copy of the notice. Like moving in, it’s important to document the condition of your rental on move-out. Schedule a walk-through inspection with your landlord before you move out. Request a copy of the landlord’s inspection checklist afterwards.

Why is having documentation so important? It protects you from landlords who take advantage of their tenants. Additionally, having copies can help jog your landlord’s memory regarding the state of your rental. Lastly if the matter ends up in Court, you will have files to back you up.

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