I conducted my first move out inspection this week since we had a tenant moving out of the property. And let me just summarize by saying, people are dirty!! Unbelievable. I was extremely disappointed at the condition of the property during the inspection. I’m convinced that no effort was made on their part to do any cleaning at all. It was quite the mess.
Now I can understand normal “wear and tear” as it’s described in the rental property community, but this went above and beyond. And while I knew there were some deficiencies of the property based on my pre-purchase walk-through and the formal home inspection, they still managed to make things much worse before leaving. Let me share some descriptive bullet points of what I found:
- Vinyl flooring with sticky substances all over.
- Dirt and dust attached to those sticky substances.
- Carpet completely black in several sections. Apparent foot traffic from dirty shoes.
- Missing window screens
- Corners of walls damaged during move out — pieces of drywall missing and showing metal brackets.
- Broken blinds on every window in the house
- Scuffs on the walls
- Dirt and hand/finger prints on the walls
- Nail holes everywhere from removal of pictures
- Slow draining from bathroom water fixtures
- At least one smoke detector hanging from ceiling by wires
- Dirty shelves from left-behind food in refrigerator
- Dirt on refrigerator door
These were a handful of the gems that I discovered in the property. Needless to say, this tenant will not be getting back their full deposit — not even close! Per the laws in this State, I kept good notes of any and all problems. As part of the move-out inspection too, I used a form that went through aspects and details in every room. Once it was filled out, I had the tenant sign it to acknowledge the problems.
There will be a lot of cleaning to be done before my fiance and I will ever consider moving inside. Of course the plan is to have it ready to go by the end of the month, because our short-term apartment lease comes to an end. I expect to be up at the rental property every day this week working on cleaning. I want to do as much work as possible to save money. But I also want to do it myself in order to learn some valuable home-improvement skills along the way too. Here is the plan:
Step 1 – Change the locks.
Step 2 – Remove any and all debris that was left behind.
Step 3 – Rip out all the carpet. It’s too far gone for cleaning so we will just replace it altogether. This will probably be our biggest expense this month.
Step 4 – Paint ALL the ceilings and walls. The property previously had flat, white paint inside. When clean it probably looked great, but when it’s even remotely dirty (or very dirty like it is now) it looks terrible.
Step 5 – Deep cleaning of the property, including all cabinets, windows, bathrooms, garage, and more. This thing needs to be spic-and-span for my own sanity — and to keep my fiance happy!
Step 6 – Install new carpet.
Step 7 – Move in!
The list makes it looks nice and easy. Maybe I’m delusional. Or maybe it really will be that easy and we can get all this done within 30 days. I expect to stay very focused on the project because we really need the place to be ready. There is no option to extend our short-term rental even one more month. And with the previous tenants out, the move-out inspection complete, and keys in hand……I’m ready to get started. No excuses, let’s do this!