Start- & End inspection
An inspection report serves to establish the state of a rented property. It is advisable to draw up such a report at both the start- and the end of a rental contract. The report is always signed by the tenant and the landlord (or the manager of the house).
The inspection report usually includes information on:
- the state of the property at the moment of inspection
- the electricity/water/gas count (if applicable)
- the keys (did the tenant receive/return them)
- the cleanliness of the property
- actions to be taken
It is advisable to complement the report with some pictures.
At the start of the contract, the inspection report is especially useful for 2 reasons:
- You want to make sure that you stipulate clearly what the rented property looks like at the beginning of the contract, to make sure you are not held accountable for any damages that were already there before you moved in, and equally, so that you can take responsibility for those damages your are responsible for.
- If the property is not exactly as you agreed and there is still some work to be done, the inspection report is where you and your landlord agree on which improvements need to be made, and how much time is allocated for those.
At the end of the contract, the inspection report is important because:
- In most cases you have paid a deposit which you would like to be returned to you. If the landlord should have a reason not to return the deposit (in full) he should make that clear in the inspection report.
- Also, if you leave behind furniture or other items, you want to state that in the report, to make sure both parties are clear on what was agreed upon.
- And, if there were any damages to the property during your time there, this should also be listed in the report, so that you can take responsiblity and either take care of the repairs or the payment for the repairs.
Hence the inspection report very clear serves as a document in which the tenant and the landlord stipulate their common understanding about the state of the apartment, and the actions and consequences for each party. It can help to eliminate misunderstanding.
The inspection report is mentioned in most rental contracts, but not often it is actually made. The best situation is when you and your landlord actually do the inspection together, then make the report, and then sign it. But if that is not possible you can also take the initiative and draw up the report yourself, and ask the landlord to sign it later. In either case, if you are not sure what such an inspection report should look like, feel free to use the examples here.