Posted in Blog  
  on Jul 08, 2014

What Needs to be on an Apartment Turnover Checklist

An apartment turnover checklist is a very useful tool to make sure everything in a rental unit has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected. Providing a checklist, along with a summary of the fees that would occur if it is not appropriately cleaned upon moving out, can help to make sure both the tenant and the landlord are on the same page and that there are no unpleasant surprises.

The first step is to put the basic instructions you'll want the tenant to follow upon checking out. This includes how to return keys, what small repairs can be made that will save on checkout costs, and what your expectations happen to be as a landlord for repairing and cleaning a unit.

Cleaning Expectations Should Always Be Included

The most important items on an apartment turnover checklist are the general cleaning tasks that must be completed. A germ-killing disinfectant, such as bleach, should be used whenever possible to disinfect the unit instead of just using a watered washcloth. The disinfectant should be allowed to rest on the surface being cleaned for the instructed period of time to kill germs.

The most commonly overlooked item that needs to be cleaned is the stove or the oven. All kitchen appliances should also be cleaned, as should the counters, cabinets, sink, and floors. The fixtures sink, toilet, vanity, and floors of the bathroom should also be cleaned. The remainder of the unit should also have each item that was there upon move-in listed as a care item for cleaning, including blinds, molding, light fixtures, and especially carpeting.

Note: if a carpet is ruined beyond repair and it is older than its depreciated value, only a cleaning charge should be given to a tenant. A replacement carpet charge can be disputed, often successfully, during mediation.

Any Common Repairs That Are Needed Should Also Be Included

Most apartments have some common repairs that need to take place after a tenant moves out. Including these repairs, including hardware, doors, and exterior issues will make it easy for a tenant to see what you'll look at upon checkout so they can restore a unit as much as possible. This includes damage to the ceiling, floors, wood trim, towel bars, and windows.

Contractor repair costs can vary and this should be noted on your apartment turnover checklist. Otherwise you will be locked into the agreed upon cost as it becomes part of the rental agreement when the lease is signed.

The final item to include is a summary of the costs of material and labor. Discuss any item specific work that would need to be done, include a schedule for recommended maintenance, and it can be helpful to include a place for a copy of the contractor invoices in case the costs of an item are in dispute. This itemized receipt eliminates questions and may be required by local laws.

With a well designed apartment turnover checklist, a unit can be maintained appropriately and eliminate questions during checkout. Utilize these ideas to improve your checklist and hopefully you'll be able to reduce the headache of checking a tenant out from now on.


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