The practice of the security deposit is not without risk for the landlord facing a tenant who goes to court to recover his money. While it is relatively easy to show the court that the rent is unpaid, it is quite a different matter when it comes to keeping the deposit on the grounds that the tenant has damaged the dwelling.
CORPIQ therefore recommends that landlords carry out three inspections and fill out a state of the premises report each time.
The first report must be made when the keys are handed over to the new tenant. It is important to make note of the state of the premises and equipment, with photos. Without this preliminary inspection with the tenant, it will become difficult to attribute him the fault for normal damages caused during his occupation. The tenant who files a lawsuit could then convince the judge and succeed in recovering his deposit.
A second report of the state of the premises should be made a few weeks before the end of the lease, that is, before the tenant leaves. Following this second inspection, the landlord will be able to provide the tenant with a notice of claim. The tenant will thus be informed in advance of the list of damages to the dwelling that will be charged to him, if applicable, and the amounts that will be deducted from the deposit in the event that he does not make the necessary corrections by the time he leaves.
Finally, a final report will make it possible to determine if the repairs or the corrective measures have been made by the tenant. In addition, this inspection will serve to ensure that he has vacated the dwelling of all his personal belongings, that he has left the premises clean and that he has handed over his keys. Failing this, a detailed and final notice of claim must be given to the tenant so that the owner can justify the partial or complete retention of the deposit. This final inspection will be valuable in defending himself if the tenant files a claim to the court against the landlord.
A State of the premises form can be downloaded from the Member section on corpiq.com.