Know your rights and responsibilities.

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Inspection

Before you move in, carefully inspect the rental unit with your landlord. Doing so is not required by law, but it ensures you both agree on any pre-existing damage, giving you protection against claims you caused the damage when you move out.

During this inspection, look at the condition of walls, floors, counters, appliances, and anything else in the rental unit. Document any damage in a notebook or an electronic file and consider taking photos and videos. You can also use this form. It is a good idea to have your landlord sign this form acknowledging they know the damage was already there.

If any damage goes unnoticed during the inspection, your landlord may assume you are responsible for it and use your security deposit for repairs after you move out.

On the day you move out, you and your landlord should do a final inspection of the rental unit. You can use the notes and photos from the first inspection before you moved in. This can help the landlord determine if anything has been damaged while you were renting. You should note any damages you caused.