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The Importance of Pre-Move-In Walkthroughs

Before signing a new lease with a tenant, you should be sure to perform a pre-move-in walkthrough of the property with them to look for and document any existing issues or damages.

Keeping a careful record of existing damage can help protect yourself and your property when it comes time for your tenant to move out.

To help guide you and your prospective tenants, we’ve outlined some essential tips and advice on best practices when performing a pre-move in walk through.

Tips for Completing a Pre-Move-in Walkthrough

First and foremost, take your time and pay attention to detail in both the interior and exterior of your rental property. Be sure to look at things from the tenant’s perspective. Are there noticeable items that could lead to potential damage?

It’s also a good idea to take photos and/or video of any issues or damages you both may see. Take notes so you can keep a written record of all findings.

Once you have completed walking through the rental property take a moment to discuss your findings with your new tenants. Address any concerns they may have and discuss a plan to fix any notable issues.

A good landlord should always be prepared to repair any issues that fall under general upkeep of the property before turning over the keys to a new tenant. Completing the walk through will also assure you aren’t left responsible for excessive wear and tear or damages that weren’t present before your new tenants arrived.

What to Look for During a Walkthrough

At Sea Scape, we have a checklist ready for walk-through inspections. You’ll want to come prepared with your own checklist of items to take note of during your walkthrough.

Here are a few items you should consider adding to your checklist:

1. Flooring

This is one item that gets a lot of use – excessive wear and tear should be noted. Look for any tears, rips, holes, stains, or other damage to hardwood, tile, and carpet floors.

2. Heating & Air Conditioning

Run the home’s heating and air conditioning to make sure they can produce heat and cold air. Note the air filters throughout the house – dirty or clean? Dirty filters should be replaced before your new tenants move in. Make sure tenants are aware of the filter sizes and how often they should be changed.

3. Outlets & Power

Check all outlets throughout the house to make sure they work. You can easily use your phone charger to ensure that each outlet can hold a charge.

4. Appliances

Ensure all appliances (oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc.) are clean, turn on and are operational.

5. Sinks, Showers, & Faucets

Be sure to note any clogged drains, leaky faucets, or other existing concerns to sinks and showers.

6. Lights

Make sure all lights and light switches in the house are functional. Take note of any potential damage, flickering lights, and non-operational light switches.

7. Doors & Windows

Do all the door locks in the house function properly? Are there any issues with doorknobs outside house or inside the house? Check all windows for any issues too. Often times older homes may have windows that are non-operational. Be sure to point this out to your new tenants to help avoid any potential issues down the road.

8. Odors

Are there any unusual odors present in the house? Be sure to check for musty or damp smells, as these can signal mold or mildew present on the property.

9. Home Security

If there is a security system in the home, make sure it works properly. You’ll also need to check that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operational.

10. Rodents & Bugs

Be sure to check your property’s attic, garage, and kitchen for any signs of rodents or bugs. If you have pest control on a regular schedule for your property, be sure to let your new tenants know.


A careful walkthrough makes the move-in and move-out process much easier for both you and your tenants. We guarantee your tenants will appreciate the extra time and effort you put into making sure their new home is well cared for.

If you’re a property owner looking to begin renting out your long-term rental property or want help from a professional property management company for an existing rental, consider reaching out to the experts at Sea Scape Properties.

We manage a wide selection of rental homes, apartments, condos and townhomes in the Greater Wilmington area including Hampstead, Holly Ridge, Leland, Southport, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, North & South Topsail Island, and Surf City.

Sea Scape Properties is a family-owned, full-service property management company located in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Reach out to Maria Tetterton at 910-332-7284, ext. 106 or via email to start ​​maximizing your return on investment today!