Tip of the Month - April 2023

Photograph the Rental Unit

Source: Every Landlord’s Legal Guide-15the Edition
Marcia Stewart, Attorneys Janet Portman & Ann O’Connell

Taking photos or videos of the unit before new tenants move in is another excellent way to record the initial condition of the rental. You will be able to compare your “after” pictures at the end of the tenancy with the “before” pictures, as well as refer to the written record you created via the checklist. (move in-move out form).  Also, if tenants claim that damage was present when they moved in, you can show them the records to refresh their memory.

If you end up in mediation or court for not returning the full security deposit, having a visual record of the unit’s condition will be invaluable.  In addition, photos or a video can also help you if you have to sue a former tenant for cleaning and repair costs that end up being more than the deposit amount.

Whether you take photos with your phone or use a separate camera, be sure that the photos ate date and time stamped.  If you make a video, clearly state the time and date when the video was made.  Provide a copy of the photos and videos to the tenants.  Your should repeat this process when the tenants leave as part of your standard move-out procedure.

This web page was updated 03/30/2023.