How to Protect Your DC Investment During Move-In

water-damaged-flooringAcross the US, renters make up about 35-percent of the population; but in Washington DC, they jump to 41-percent. With a constant influx of potential renters, the area is rife with financially-rewarding rental investment opportunities. Yet just because there’s no shortage of available tenants doesn’t mean being a landlord is easy.

For most, the ups and downs are worthwhile, but earning successful rental income starts by mitigating the risks involved, and a thorough move-in inspection is the first step. This sets the groundwork for determining who’s responsible for repairs, how the security deposit is released when the tenant moves out, and who caused any damage.

Take your time as you move through the property with the tenant, and snap plenty of photos as you go. Document any existing damage as well as anything that’s worn or in less-than-new condition. Photograph major-ticket items that are in good repair but that routinely see damage over the course of a lease, including:

• Interior and exterior doors
• Screen doors
• Windows
• Light fixtures
• Bathroom fixtures
• Kitchen fixtures
• Cabinets
• Vanities
• Flooring
• Smoke detectors
• Appliances

Spending just a few hours on the move-in inspection can save you countless hours and thousands of dollars down the road. And as a bonus, it shows your tenant just how seriously you take your investment.

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