The Ultimate Move-Out Inspection Checklist for Landlords

The Ultimate Move-Out Inspection Checklist for Landlords

The average rental rates for apartments in Denver are up 20% from last year. This also means security deposits are also on the rise. However, landlords don't just get to keep a security deposit when a tenant moves out. 

You need to have a thorough move-out inspection checklist that justifies why you're keeping a portion of the security deposit. 

List Each Room 

Make the home final inspection project easier by listing each room in the home. This breaks up the inspection into a more manageable project. It also reduces the risk of you forgetting a room. 

Room Elements 

Under each room that you have listed, you need to have a list of elements. Work through the move-out checklist for each room. 

  • Floor 
  • Walls
  • Ceiling 
  • Doors 
  • Windows 
  • Blinds 
  • Closet 
  • Light fixtures 
  • Switches and outlets 
  • Plumbing fixtures 

If a room has unique or special elements, include these. For example, stairs in a hallway or cabinets in the bathroom. 


You shouldn't have to spend endless hours on your move-out cleaning. Using abbreviations on your checklist helps you to make quick notes as you move through a property. You can then go back later and know exactly what each room needs. 

  • NC- needs cleaning 
  • NSC- needs spot cleaning 
  • NP- needs painting 
  • NSP- needs spot painting 
  • NR- needs repair 
  • RP- needs replacing 

Professional property managers use codes similar to these to track the condition of a property. A handyman or maintenance manager can then take the checklist and know where work needs to be done. 

It's also helpful to have a small section for comments below each room. This gives you room for additional notes if needed. 


In addition to recording the condition of the property and any required work, you need to record the cost. You can track normal wear and tear costs and repair costs along with tenant-caused damage. 

You need to track the repairs and maintenance because this is how you differentiate costs and justify keeping a tenant's security deposit. A landlord cannot keep a security deposit to pay for normal wear and tear. However, you can deduct damage beyond wear and tear from the security deposit. 


At the bottom of the checklist sheet, there should be signatures for you and the tenant. If your checklist has both move-in and move-out inspections, you need two sets of signature spaces. Both parties should sign agreeing to the condition of the property at move-in. 

Then upon move out, both parties should sign again agreeing to the condition at move-out. This helps to avoid conflict later should the property require repairs. 

Make Your Move-Out Inspection Checklist 

Creating a move-out inspection checklist template ensures you thoroughly check your property. It also gives you a system that makes management easier. You can quickly move through each property methodically to maintain standards. 

Let our skilled team of property managers show you how to create a move-out checklist for your rental properties. 

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