You must provide the tenant with a move in inspection form.  Failure to do so may result in your inability to charge the tenant for damages against his security deposit.
The Arizona Landlord Tenant Act requires landlords to provide tenants with a move in inspection form.  Most of you have this a part of your lease; however, if you do not, you need to add this to your procedures.

Best Practice is to provide the move in inspection form with the lease or when you provide the tenant with the keys to the unit.  You should note any damages you are aware of on the form and indicate in writing on the form that it must be returned within 10 days (or a reasonable time frame of your choosing), and if the form is not returned in this time frame the tenant agrees there is no additional damage to the unit at the time the tenant takes possession of the property.

The move in inspection form may be short or lengthy.  (A sample move in form attached to the newsletter for your use.)  It should provide a place to note condition of the flooring, appliances, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, walls etc.  A furnished unit should include a place to the note condition of the furniture and items in the property as well.

When the time comes to account for the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord is to compare the move in inspection form to the move out inspection form and may charge the tenant accordingly for damage to the unit beyond normal wear and tear as noted in these forms.  If you do not have a move in inspection form, you cannot show (legally) that the damage was not preexisting.

We always recommend photographing or video taping the unit both at move in and move out.  A picture is worth a thousand words, when it comes to property condition.

Don’t end up with a damage to a unit for which you cannot deduct the cost of repairs from the security deposit.  Provide the tenant with a move in inspection form!

ARS § 33-1321(C):  With respect to tenants who first occupy the premises or enter into a new written rental agreement after January 1, 1996, upon move in a landlord shall furnish the tenant with a signed copy of the lease, a move-in form for specifying any existing damages to the dwelling unit and written notification to the tenant that the tenant may be present at the move out inspection.…

Keep a copy of the move in form in your file in case the tenant fails to return it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *