Property Management Tips-Move-In and Move-Out Documentation

We at Simple Property Management get asked all the time about how we document the condition of the property at move-in and move-out. Let’s start at the move-in.  


As professional property managers, we use customized software for move-ins. Using software on our phones or iPads allows us to document everything at the property digitally. On every single item we look at, we rate them on the condition. We also add comments if needed. What we are looking for:


We look at the door, doorknob, lock, doorbell, any lights, light switches, flooring, storm door, and if there is a wall or ceiling, we look at those.


In the kitchen, we look at all the appliances, the cabinets, countertops, drawers, ceilings, lights, switches, outlets, flooring, sink, plumbing, windows, etc. We look at a lot of items in the kitchen because that is the most used area of the home. Quick Tip- Take photos of every appliance inside and outside so that you can quickly reference model numbers. At move-out, you will be able to compare pictures to see if something is damaged. It is also a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen.


In the bathroom, we check the standard items- door, windows, outlets, lights, etc. Additionally, we are reviewing the sink, faucet, plumbing, TP and towel holder, medicine cabinet, bath fan, tub/shower, shower walls, caulking, etc. Make sure the toilet is tight to the floor- many times we find loose toilets which can cause a lot of damage! Don’t forget to turn the shower on- we see a lot of shower heads not working properly.


Whether it be a living room, bedroom, or office, we look at most of the same items in each one. We check out the closets, doors, make sure the doorknobs are tight and working, flooring, windows, and blinds.  Check those smoke detectors!  We suggest that you take a photo of each smoke detector.

Halls and Stairs

The main reason for having this on your checklist is so that you don’t forget to look at it! Many times the hallways or stairs can be missed, yet they are some of the most traveled areas of the home! We are documenting the condition of walls, ceilings, lights, flooring, windows, and blinds. Make sure you have a smoke detector installed in the hallway or stairs. If it is a stairway, we check to make sure the railing or banister is not loose.


In the basement, we are confirming the water heater, furnace, and electrical box are in good shape. We also are taking a picture of the smoke detector and we want to try to get the furnace filter size. There may be other rooms down there that need inspecting.  

Exterior of Property

We walk around the property, confirming the siding is in good order, the roof is not missing shingles, etc. We take photos of the exterior of the property and document the garage if there is one on the property.

Other Notes

Most importantly, we photograph every single room and also take 360 photos in each room. Having this documentation allows us to have proof in case a resident disputes our findings.


At the move-out, we go through the same documentation and also document any tenant damages. Having a thorough move-in document allows you to prove what is and what is not tenant damage.

If you have questions and clarifications documentation, or you like to see our available rental properties, please don’t hesitate to call us. Learn more about us and our Grand Rapids property management services and pick the property management plan that works for you.

If you would like a free rental assessment, contact us today!