Rental Walkthrough Checklist – What To Look For When Your Renters Are Moving In and Out

If you’ve ever rented before, you know about walkthroughs. As a landlord a walkthrough is for each, and below will be a checklist to use when doing them.

Walkthrough by both landlord and tenant at lease and end of lease

A walkthrough is something done by both landlord and tenant at the time the property is leased, and when the lease is over and the tenant is moving out. It’s an inspection of the property.

At the beginning of the lease it is done to have Rental Walkthrough Checklist - What To Look For When Your Renters Are Moving In and Outboth parties on the same page about the condition of the property before it is inhabited. A checklist should be done and signed by landlord and tenant, and pictures of EVERYTHING should be taken by both parties.

At the end of the lease the landlord is looking for damage or illegal alterations to the property, (illegal meaning not approved by the landlord in writing), per the lease. Damage is considered anything in excess of normal wear and tear.

Again, a checklist should be filled out and signed by both parties and another set of pictures of EVERYTHING should be taken by both parties. Pictures are taken at both times by both parties so in case there is a need for proof in a dispute over how much of the security deposit is withheld by the landlord at the end of the lease.

The walkthrough is done so the landlord can determine if damage has been done to the unit that would allow for deductions to be taken from the tenant’s security deposit. It either allows the tenant, if done prior to move out, to fix items to keep deductions at a minimum, and/or lets the landlord know what must be fixed before the next tenant moves into the property. Not all states require it, but as a general rule, it is a good idea, required or not, so you have documentation of damages and property condition.

As a landlord a walkthrough will give you a few benefits. It will allow you to determine repairs and anticipate costs. It will actually help you avoid disputes with the tenant because both are aware of condition before and after the tenancy and also allows the tenant to do the repairs to mitigate their loss in security deposit, saving you the cost after they move out.

Now onto the checklist:


Is there adequate parking near the property for tenant and guests? Is it assigned or first-come, first served?
Is the exterior lighting adequate? Are common areas well lit?
Are there elevators and do they work? Are stairways well lit and secure?
Are common entrances locked and if so, how is access granted: doorbell, buzzer, security camera, call phone?
Are locks in good working order? Will they be changed out before move in?
Do doors open and shut easily? Are they heavy enough for safety, but not so heavy they are hard to open? Is there a way to look out before opening (i.e. a peephole or a way to view outside)?


Is the property clean?
Are the ceilings and walls in good repair? Is paint fresh (i.e. no peeling or marks on walls or ceilings)? Are there nail holes in the walls? Any signs of water damage or mold? Any cracks in drywall or plaster?
Are there enough closets and are they large enough for storage? Is there any kind of organization system in closets? Is there a lockable outside storage area?
Is flooring in good repair? Are carpets frayed or dirty? Is hardwood scratched or water stained? Is tile chipped, cracked or uneven?
Are kitchen and bathroom cabinets in good repair? Do they open easily? Is all hardware there? Are they straight and installed correctly? Is interior shelving in place?
Bathroom and kitchen sinks, tubs and wall tile are in place, sturdy, grout is clean and complete? Tile isn’t chipped?
Does water drain quickly in all sinks and tubs and showers? Is water clean and has it been tested? Do water temps and pressure stay consistent even if more than one is running at a time? Does the toilet work properly and is it clean?
Do all electrical outlets and switches work? Are any buzzing, have char marks or are hot to the touch? Where is the circuit breaker and does it have any of the same issues?
Do windows open? Are glass and screens intact? Are window coverings in good shape?
Is there a washer and dryer available in the unit? Does it work?
Does the heating and air conditioning system work?
Does each room have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, per state law?
Can you get cell reception? What about landlines? Is there hook ups for cable/satellite/internet available?
Is there overhead lighting and does it work?
Do all appliances work? Are they clean?

Be smart and cover your bases. Do walkthroughs and be thorough.

Want To Be A Real Estate Investor But Hate Cleaning Toilets?

Being a Real Estate investor sounds good, but you know you don’t want to be that landlord being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night to fix a leaky toilet. It’s kept you from taking the plunge so far, but what if you could invest and be a hands free investor? Investing in turnkey real estate is for you.

Benefits of turn-key investing

Want To Be A Real Estate Investor But Hate Cleaning Toilets?There are plenty of benefits to being a turn-key real estate investor. The first is not being a landlord. You do this by putting professional property management in place and you reap the rewards of investing without the time consuming job of being a landlord. The property managers deal with the tenants, fix what needs fixing, maintain the property, collect the rent and deal with evictions for you.

No rehab costs

Purchasing a turn-key property means you don’t have to spend money up front to rehab the property before you make a dime on it. It may appear to be cheaper to buy a foreclosure property but turn-key removes all the risk that foreclosure properties have. You know the condition of the property instead of guessing about it.

Tenant in place

Often turn-key investment properties already have a tenant in place, so you start off from day one making money on your investment. Vacancies mean no income, so finding one without the “for rent” sign on it will mean knowing what your income will be instead of estimating it.

Lastly, turn-key investment properties are usually in the best neighborhoods. Bonus for the amount of income and type of tenants. Marry that with a property management aspect and you can buy anywhere in the US, no living close by necessary!

Check out all the turnkey properties that we recommend here. This is a company that we work with who provides great turnkey properties for your investing needs!

To Evict a Renter in Colorado – What is the Process for Colorado Property Management

If you own a property that you rent out, eviction of tenants is always a possibility. Eviction is the legal process where a landlord obtains a court order to forcibly remove the tenant and their possessions from a property.

In Colorado, a landlord of a property can only evict a tenant “for cause” or “without cause.” If the lease has not yet expired, the tenant can only be evicted for cause, usually non-payment of rent or violation of a condition of the lease. A tenancy can be terminated without cause if the lease has expired.

The initial eviction notice is called a demand for possession, and must be in writing and specify the grounds, describe the property, state the time when the tenant must leave, and be signed by the landlord. Specific reasons for the notice govern the length of time the tenant has to vacate. The notice must be served personally on the tenant or a member of the tenant’s family over 15 years of age or by posting if the tenant isn’t home or tries to evade service.

The court proceeding in an eviction case is started with a summons and complaint. The summons commands the defendant to appear in court at the time and date set in the summons by the landlord’s attorney. Typically, tenants have only a few days to respond to the summons after it has been served. The summons and complaint must be served on the defendant by a sheriff or other person over 18 who is not a party to the action. The summons can be given to anyone over 18 who lives at the same place, or by posting or mail.

The tenant may file an answer, and the answer must admit or deny the allegations of the complaint and present all the tenant’s defenses. The defendant also is required to assert any counterclaim, that is, any claim the tenant may have against the landlord at this time or risk losing the right to counterclaim. If the court accepts the tenant’s answer, it will set a trial date.

The trial date is usually within five business days. An eviction trial is governed by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, the Colorado Rules of Evidence and the eviction statutes. Both parties make opening statements, call witnesses and make arguments. If the landlord wins, they will receive a Writ of Restitution and the sheriff will come and evict the tenant.

Need a great Colorado Property Management Company? Give Tena D a call!!! 303-452-5853

Tenant Issues – Security Deposit: Should You Require One

Should you require a security deposit if you own property that you want to rent to others? In a word, yes.

Tenant Issues - Security Deposit: Should You Require OneA security deposit is a sum of money held against the possibility of future damage done to the property. The amount of the deposit is up to the landlord, thought there may be local or state laws controlling what the amount to be required can be, and it is spelled out in the lease agreement.

There are rules that are spelled out in local and/or state law that tell a landlord what they can do with a security deposit, where they have to put it during the pendency of the lease, if they can earn interest, and when and how much must be returned to the tenant when the lease is ended. These rules are often complicated and take consulting an attorney. If you don’t follow the laws, some states require the landlord to pay twice the amount of the security deposit.

So, you’re thinking, this tenant is trustworthy. They look nice enough. So why do I need to take one? Fair question. But what do you know about this person? Do they have children? Do they have pets? Do they have a hobby that could possibly do damage to your property? What about their friends? Have you done a background check? Maybe they aren’t who they seem. Taking someone at face value could cost you a lot of money after they leave, and once they are gone, tracking them down to collect reimbursement for the damage they did will cost you even more.

Your best bet is to require a security deposit, and to use a property management company to help you (like Denver Realty and Rentals). They can hold the deposit for you. They know the rules. They will do background checks on your prospective tenants and take care of maintaining your property. After the lease is finished, they can make the repairs to the property, deduct the cost from the deposit and return the balance to your tenant. Simple and legal.

Denver Property Management Questions – Should We Charge a Pet Deposit?

As a landlord there are many things that you have to think about when renting your property. One of them is will you allow your tenants to have pets? That then leads to what kinds of pets and will you charge a pet deposit? The answer should be yes, if you are allowing pets, charge a pet deposit or pet fee.

Property Management Questions - Should We Charge a Pet Deposit?Most states, including Colorado, have no laws that prohibit a landlord from charging a pet deposit or pet fee. The only restriction in the law is under the Fair Housing Act. Under this act, if the pet is a service animal, a pet deposit may not be charged. You can ask for documentation verifying that the animal is, in fact, a service animal, and there are certain exemptions. Check with your attorney if this situation comes up. The fee or deposit can be non-refundable. Since there is no specific state law, what you charge is completely up to you, and can differ depending on the type of animal, number of them you allow and their size.

You need to be sure you tell the tenant that it is a non-refundable deposit, and put the amount, status and reason for it in the lease. Also, have the tenant describe the animal it covers, in writing as well. Also, be careful with what you determine is human and pet damage at the end of the lease. It could get you into hot water if you withhold the security deposit for something that is obviously pet damage.

So why have a pet deposit? Well, animals can, and often do, cause damage to properties. Dog nails can scratch hard wood floors. Both cats and dogs can leave smelly “accidents” that are quite difficult to remove from building materials. People who have very large aquariums can cause water damage to floors and walls. Any kind of pet can be destructive, so when determining the amount of the fee/deposit, find out what kind of pet they will have and what kind of damage it may cause. Then figure an amount that will offset the cost of fixing the damage.

People love their pets and most pet owners are responsible and take good care to be sure that their pets won’t damage your property. The deposit is a “better safe than sorry” move that will save you money in the long run!

If you would like to find out more about any Denver Property Management questions you might have, give us a call today! 303-452-5853