Like, how do you know what is tenant-related damage that they should be charged for, during…
That they should be charged against their security deposit and what is just kind of your responsibility as an owner?
So, what I’ve done is I pulled up one of our move out walkthroughs and I just want to kind of go through this with you.
I’m going to show you pictures of everything.
This is a house that the tenant lived there for a year and they moved out and so what we do is we go and do this walkthrough.
We put together a punch list for the owner. In that punch list.
We will also list out anything that needs to be done before it’s rent ready again.
And then we’ll also detail what is your responsibility, Mr. or Mrs. owner, and what is the tenant’s responsibility that we will charge against the security deposit.
Then we’ll put together a disposition letter and we’ll send that to the tenant along with the remaining funds.
Just letting them know, here’s the report, here’s what we feel is your, you know, responsibility from your security deposit and just take it from there.
So, that’s how it works here at evernest.
And so, I’m going to walk through this and we’ll talk about some different things so you can see them.
And we want to make sure, hey, are our utilities on, how…is cleaning needed?
So, right here, yes. Do we need to remove debris?
No, we don’t need to because the tenant moved it out, moved everything out.
But you’ll see in the pictures, the house wasn’t really cleaned.
We also need to clean carpets, we don’t need to cut the grass the, you know, yard was left in great condition.
So, here, when our technicians go into the house.
The first thing they want to do is just make sure that utilities are on, so you have water, we have power, and we have gas.
And then they’re taking pictures of the carpet here that says it needs to be cleaned, not replaced, and then the yard looks really good.
As we keep going down there’s a lockbox on the door and here are photos of the house on the exterior.
So, you can see it looks like it’s actually in really good shape.
The grass isn’t overgrown, the shrubs are not overgrown.
You know, this is just kind of normal, think that’s supposed to be there.
And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to walk through each room in the house and we’re going to say is it satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
So, the house entryway, the condition is satisfactory.
But this is…we’re either going recommend some repairs, or we’re going to require some repairs, and this is from the owner.
So, the recommended repairs, you don’t necessarily have to do.
These are just things that we believe need to be done.
And it will help the house potentially rent quicker if these things are done, but you don’t have to.
Now, required repairs it just us saying we’re going to require you to do this.
Before we market the house because we want to make sure we’re giving a new tenant a very livable and nice home like one that we would want to live in as well.
So, what we’re saying is, “Hey, we recommend you sweep some of these I guess dead bugs up.”
To me, this would be covered in the cleaning of the house.
Living room is condition satisfactory, but we’re going to require clean window frames, paint window sills, replace the screen for the front window and then paint walls and trims.
So, you can see here now we’re going to put pictures in here and just see what we’re talking about.
You can see, you know, these window sills, these window frames don’t look clean at all.
I guess this is going to be replacing the screen, is that what it said, replace screen for front window, that’s the one.
Paint trim. You can see it’s just kind scuffed up but to us, this is normal wear and tear.
So, we’re not going to charge the tenant for this, you know, for this type of just normal wear and tear.
And so we’re saying, “Hey you really need to paint in here.”
The condition again is satisfactory but we are going to require the owner to clean:
And I will just go ahead and tell you this kind of a spoiler alert, this is the responsibility of the tenant.
So, these things are the responsibility of the tenant.
Tenants need to have this house…they need to either do it themselves or hire somebody to do a deep cleaning.
Or else we’re, you know if we come in and it’s not 100% ready and clean then we’re going to charge that to the tenant.
So, there’s the screen that needs to be fixed and again just.
Hey, there’s there are scuff marks, we’d like to have those cleaned and ready.
The kitchen, satisfactory, but we are going to require paint trim underneath cabinets.
And, clean out dishwasher, make sure it drains properly and clean entire kitchen appliances inside and out.
So, you can see this stuff, this is just normal for a kitchen that’s being used.
People are cooking in here, we’re going to say,
“Hey, we want you to clean out all these appliances, clean them inside and out and clean all this up.”
This is going to be responsibility of a tenant but it’s normal, you know, this is what happens.
But if you live in a house, then you want to…I can tell you that when they moved in this was not here.
So, therefore we’re going to require them to clean that.
And the great thing is before a tenant moves in, we do a move-in walkthrough with the same type pictures.
We’re taking pictures of everything just so that we have documentation, this is how the house was turned over to this new tenant.
And then we’re asking the tenant, please…we give them a sheet and we say,
“Hey, if you notice anything, the first couple of weeks if you notice anything that seems kind of out of place or needs to be fixed or whatever.
Just make sure you note it on this document so we don’t charge you for it upon move out.”
This is laundry room and there’re just some…laundry room actually is in good shape, there’s just some burned out bulbs.
Well, this is the tenant’s responsibility.
Because when they moved in, the lights were working, when they moved out, they weren’t working so they’re responsible for changing those light bulbs.
So, replace downstairs, this may be all the bedrooms, replaced downstairs bedroom screen, upstairs left bedroom recessed light bulbs, paint upstairs left bedroom walls and trim, replace smoke detector battery upper left bedroom and carpet and shampoo all three bedrooms.
Again this is, you know, here we’re just letting you see that there was, you know stuff on the walls that needs to be taken care of.
here’s a screen that needs to be replaced, all the carpets are gonna be cleaned.
This is the one, we got to replace this battery, the smoke detector, we’re going to need to get these walls painted.
And then bathrooms.
Both bathrooms need cleaning, both tubs need to be recaulked using grout caulked and match color paint trim in both bathrooms.
The bathroom does look good, just needs to be cleaned and tub needs to be caulked.
Carpet shampoo and paint walls and trim.
So, we’re going to clean this carpet and then we’re going to paint the walls and trim.
And listen, if this were my house, this is the thing you need to understand about the rental property, is that if this was my house, I’m not going to paint this wall.
But when you’re putting your house on the market for somebody to move into, a tenant.
And then they’re going to expect it to be clean, and they’re going to expect it, you know, doesn’t…
Everything doesn’t have to be new, but they definitely want clean carpets and clean walls.
Now, we’re not painting every wall in this house but just walls that we noticed there are some scuff marks and different things on.
We can do some touch-up paint, but sometimes it doesn’t look exactly perfect and so we’d rather paint the entire wall.
And you see we’re going to …some chip marks there.
Then the garage shed, tighten door hardware and sweep and powerwash.
Here’s the hardware and then we’re just going to sweep all this out.
And the hallway, touch-up walls, paint trim. So we can just touch-up.
We’re going to touch-up some of these areas on the walls and then we’re going to paint the trim.
And interior, clean entire unit, painting, screen replacement, pest control, spray for insects.
So, we’re going to clean the entire unit and this painting is just what we’ve already talked about, screen replacements.
And then mechanical systems are satisfactory.
So, the heating and air is working, hot water heater, we’re recommending pest control for insects, spiders, ants, and others.
I went back and looked at the report, really what we’re going to charge the tenant for is cleaning the entire unit, replacing light bulbs and that’s it essentially.
So, now, some things are going to be more obvious than others.
Like when I walk in and see, you know, kind of dirt everywhere or, you know, stains left in the kitchen.
Things like that, like this and this, then I’m going to change that to the tenant.
If I see big scuff marks on the wall, where people were moving furniture, or hanging pictures or something, I’m going to charge that to the tenant.
But really, if it’s just like big scuff marks,.
If it’s just kind of normal, then like a lived in the house, and then that’s going to be the owner’s responsibility.
That’s something to remember about rental houses when you’re in these.
When you own rental houses, these are things that you’re just going to have to deal with and this is called the turn.
So, now we present this to the tenant, we present it to the owner.
We take out however much money of the tenant’s security deposit for the cleaning of the house.
And then we’re going to go ahead and take care of all the painting.
The carpet cleaning, and everything to get this house back on the market as quickly as possible.
Now, if you have a house where a tenant totally trashed it, then it’s very easy to see.
“Hey, we’re going to be keeping, you know, pretty much the entire security deposit.” This was a good tenant, obviously, you can tell.
They left the house in really good shape, I think.
Most of this is just normal wear and tear and is not gonna be tenant-related damage, like this is just normal wear and tear here.
So, great tenant here.
We’re going to charge them for cleaning and changing light bulbs.
And then the owner is going to get the rest of the house ready, or we’re going to get it ready for them.
And then we’re going to get this thing back on the market and find another great tenant for them.
So, hope that helps, give you a little insight into what is normal wear and tear versus tenant-related damage in your Atlanta rental house.
Spencer is the VP of Marketing at Evernest. He wakes up with Google and Facebook on his mind. Having bought and sold over 150 homes in Birmingham, Spencer gets a kick out of helping new and seasoned investors navigate the mistakes he made as an investor. Spencer is also passionate about his love for Michael Jordan and does his best to explain to the Millennials (who never saw him play live) how much better he was than LeBron. He loves to hang out with his wife, kids, and the world’s best black lab, Jett.