Landlords and Property Managers - Do You Take Tenant Move In and Move Out Pictures?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. BK629999

Rental move in pictures

 

A couple of days ago I met my new tenant at one of our rental houses here in Melbourne Florida.  She was bringing me the balance of the move in money.  It was time to have her to sign the lease and I was giving her the keys to her new house.

While she was reviewing the lease, I walked through the house, and took pictures inside and outside, being careful to include all the rooms. 

We swapped money for keys, she signed her new lease and as I was leaving she was already moving items in. I think they will be happy there. The house is just minutes from her job.

I am always happy to be able to help a nice family find a comfortable home to live in.  For me, I hope it will be another long term tenant/landlord relationship.

When I got back to my home office, I copied all of the photos to a CD, labeled and dated the disk

I haven't always taken move in and move out pictures. 

However, several years back I decided it would be a wise idea to keep them on file.

I have never had a need had to use them. 

And, I hope that I never do, however now I always have them, if there is ever a tenant dispute over a security deposit, or a question on the move in or move out condition of a property.

I have heard of landlords that have had nightmare situations because they couldn't prove the condition of their rental house upon move in, or move out, either.

REMEMBER; A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!  ENOUGH SAID!

As a landlord or property manager, do you take move in and move out pictures of your rentals?

Rental move in pictures

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Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Ryan,  You are correct in that there are many dysfuntional families out there - sometimes you just don't want to mix business and money with family and long term friends.  I have seen it destroy relationshios.  So glad to hear that you appreciate your family everyday for being so wonderful!  How truly blessed that you are!  You are one lucky man!

Oct 30, 2008 08:46 AM #94
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Eva,  How are things down there in Boca?  I lived in Deerfield Beach from 1968 to 1975, then we moved up here to Melbourne. It sounds like you certainly make sure that all bases are covered. So very smart of you!  I don't deal in furnished units, and don't think I would care to.  That must get really hairy sometimes.  Kudos to you!  I haven't yet been to court with a tenant, but know someday I will. I know many others that have and it wasn't very pretty.  Keep up the great job! 

Oct 30, 2008 08:49 AM #95
Rainer
111,953
Kris Kombrink ~ The Kombrink Team
RE/MAX Excels - Chicago's Western Suburbs - Geneva, IL

Sandy, timely post as we just moved into the property management arena this year.  We do try to get "before and after" photos and send them to the owner.

Oct 30, 2008 08:52 AM #96
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Matt, So glad the timing is perfect for you!  Alot of companies have shifted to property management, in response to the change in our markets.  Best of luck to you and take care.  Thanks for the feedback!

Oct 30, 2008 09:08 AM #97
Anonymous
Move In/Out pics

We, generally, try to take pics when it is vacant.  Those are the "move in" pics.  Plus those pictures are posted on our website.  Each of our vacant properties has it's own page where interior shots are posted.  It seems to help when applicants have seen "inside" the properties.  I have rented many properties without them every sitting foot inside the property.  Many are from out of town and do not have the luxury of coming to town for a "House Hunting Trip."  I have had to use my pics...It has avoided what could have been a "silly" legal battle.  The pics can kind of take the wind out of their sail if they are disputing the condition of the property.  I hav been putting them in a file on my computer so that I can load them at any time to the website as vacancies occur.  I can foresee having a cd file some day.  Thanks for the great reminder to TAKE THOSE PICTURES.

Kim, Cozy Home Rental  Topeka  Ks  cozyhomerental.com

Oct 30, 2008 09:57 AM #98
Rainmaker
468,966
Eva Aliaga
Partnership Realty Inc - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate

Hi Sandy, I have received lots of inquires for seasonal but most people want 2 monthand not the 4 months minimum stay, its been slow for full seasonal inquires but I may have a pending for my listing in Century Village Boca. Well, yes I have had to see a judge about evictions, hope not to do it again. Evidence is key, be nice to the judge and hope for the best. Trying to collect is a different story.

Oct 30, 2008 10:08 AM #99
Rainmaker
2,398,507
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Not only do we do that but we have the tenants write in their own words an account of the property and e-mail it to us, that way they can take their time and we go back and forth to have great detail so at the end we have at least two pages to show them what they thought and they have any concerns we take care o fat the start of the lease.

Oct 30, 2008 10:26 AM #100
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Kim,  I would imagine it would be a great benefit to post the inside pictures on your website to help rent the properties...just like homes for sale.  Pictures are great for avoiding "silly legal" battles.  I agree the that it does take the wind out of the difficult tenant's sails when they find out that you have pictures. Sounds like you are on top of it, doing a GREAT job! Keep up the thorough work!

Oct 30, 2008 10:30 AM #101
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Eva, I especially don't care to do seasonal rentals at all. I wouldn't care for the turnover rate on them.  Most of my tenants have been with me for over 4 years, and I like it that way.  As a landlord, I don't go to court for the money owed me (if any) because it can drag out an eviction for 2-4 months, then they owe me that much more money, and the only thing the judge can provide me with is a judgement. My theory is, if they can't pay me the rent to keep their roof over their head then how or why are they going to pay a judgement after they are long gone?  I seldom see judgements to other landlords paid.  I can have them out, the house clean and rerented in the time it takes me to mess with all that.

Oct 30, 2008 10:36 AM #102
Rainmaker
56,395
Sherry Lee Cox
Platinum Properties - Paso Robles, CA

Sandy,

You are one smart lady.  I have not done rental management but may in the future.  I think any evidence you can document of before and after condition will only benefit you should you come to a disagreement with the current tenant or vacating tenant over their cleaning deposit.

Oct 30, 2008 11:14 AM #103
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Charles, I hadn't heard of doing that before -interesting.  Thanks for the feedback!

Oct 30, 2008 11:24 AM #104
Rainer
44,690
Ron Tiller
Star Referral - Grand rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI

Another great use for photos is for a record of your own personal property for insurance purposes. Grab you digicamera and go wild, throw the pics on a CD and store said CD off site and hope you never need it. I do this about twice a year.

Oct 30, 2008 11:26 AM #105
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi sherry, Thanks for the compliment. I think you live and you learn.  And I have made my own fair share of mistakes and I have seen many landlords make theirs two. ALthough I have never had to use pictures, I know I will one day.  I try not to make the same mistake twice or try not to make some of the same mistakes I have seen other landlords make.

Oct 30, 2008 11:26 AM #106
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Ron, GREAT POINT! I agree with you. I have all of my personal items inventoried and photos of all of them.  Here in Florida you can't be careful enough because you don't know when a tropical storm or hurricane is coming.  So we're always ready. Thanks for sharing!

Oct 30, 2008 11:57 AM #107
Rainmaker
325,871
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD

Sandy,

Taking these pictures will help sort out any type of dispute should it arise. It actually ought to be part of the lease file if you ask me. Yet I understand it isn't done all that often.

Oct 30, 2008 04:40 PM #108
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Yes, absolutely - we take photos, conduct an inspection and have a tenant sign-off acknowledging the condition.

Oct 30, 2008 06:02 PM #109
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Esko, Agreed. Pictures are great and for me they do become a part of the lease file and should for everyone fro the protection of the landlord and the tenant.  Thanks for sharing!

Oct 30, 2008 10:53 PM #110
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Ryan, It sounds like you cover all bases.  Perfect - someday it will definitely pay off for you should you need it. Keep up the great job!

Oct 30, 2008 10:54 PM #111
Rainmaker
133,822
Glen A. Mitchell
Keller Williams Peninsula Estates - Half Moon Bay, CA
Broker, CDPE, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay,El Granada

I do for client rentals, but for some reason don't tend to on my own.  I should really change that though.  Its not hard to do and could easily prevent problems down the road.  Thanks

Oct 31, 2008 07:06 AM #112
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Oh Glen, You're brave. I know that sometimee we tend to our customers better than we tend to ourselves. Definitely not a good thing. Just take the extra time to do your own too. Take care1

Oct 31, 2008 09:37 AM #113
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Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast
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