Move-In/Move-Out Checklist

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Move-In/Move-Out Checklist Page 1
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Updated Feb 22, 2024
~ 3 pages
A move-out or move-in checklist helps involved parties understand the state of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy. This aids in avoiding disputes and ambiguities, safeguarding the interests of everyone concerned. Download this free checklist from Lawrina and complete it easily using our guidelines.
This template is available in one format.
Paper titled "Move-In/Move-Out Checklist"; man showing a house with interior to another man

Moving in or moving out can be quite an ordeal. Between juggling different responsibilities and ensuring all necessary tasks are smoothly carried out, one can easily lose track of essential details. A well-prepared move-in or move-out checklist is the quintessential document for managing this process effectively, allowing you to ensure the seamless transfer of rights, possessions, and responsibilities associated with a residential space.

Move-out or move-in checklists help involved parties understand the state of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy. This aids in avoiding disputes and ambiguities, safeguarding the interests of everyone concerned. These checklists are the scaffolding for a sturdy, transparent, and fair residential changeover.

When to Use a Move-In/Move-Out Checklist

A move-in move-out inspection form is needed whenever you're transitioning living spaces — entering a new rental unit or vacating an existing one. This may happen at different stages of your life — whether it's your first college dorm, an apartment switch due to job relocation, or moving out after the lease term ends. 

The move-in inspection form is a crucial document that corroborates the state of the property when a tenant begins their occupancy. This form certifies the property's initial state, ensuring that potential issues or existing damages are recorded accurately.

On the other hand, the move-out inspection form assesses the property's condition at the end of the tenancy period. This document compares the concluding state of the property with its original condition noted on the move-in form, thus preventing either party from making unjust claims.


  • Tenant — This is the person or group that has signed a lease or rental agreement to live in the property for a specified term. Throughout this term, the tenant must maintain the property and abide by the stipulations set in the agreement. During the move-in move-out form process, the tenant participates in walkthrough inspections, assessing the property’s condition at the start and end of the lease. 

  • Landlord — The individual, agency, or entity owns the rental property and collects rent from the tenant. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is livable and safe. They are also part of the move-in and move-out process, conducting a detailed walkthrough with the tenant. Using the move-out or move-in checklist for tenants, they track the state of the property at the beginning and end of the lease, holding the tenant accountable for any damages beyond normal wear and tear. 

Key Terms

  • Condition: Refers to the state or quality of something. In the move-out or move-in inspection checklist, “condition” pertains to the property’s existing state, structures, and contents.
  • Damage: Refers to the harm caused to property that affects its value, utility, or normal function.
  • Normal Wear and Tear: Refers to the expected, minor degradation in the property's condition due to regular, proper usage over time — the kind not considered “damage.”
  • Security Deposit: A sum of money the tenant provides to the landlord at the start of the lease. Landlords can use this money to cover expenses if the tenant breaches the lease or damages the property.
  • Walk-through Inspection: This is a comprehensive examination of the property by the tenant and the landlord. This process helps inventory the property’s condition at apartment move-out checklist times.

How to Write a Move-In/Move-Out Checklist

Crafting a move-in move-out checklist requires precision, clarity, and a fair understanding of the property. The checklist should be comprehensive, including every relevant detail of the property’s current state.

Here are steps to write an effective one:

  1. Property assessment: Before the tenant moves in, thoroughly inspect the property. Go through each room and note the condition of every pertinent detail, including the floors, walls, windows, doors, appliances, plumbing fixtures, electrical systems, etc. 

  2. Document thoroughly: Write down the issues or damages found during the inspection in your checklist. Be specific, describing the location and severity of the damage. A move-in checklist template provides a structured format that can be easily understood by both parties.

  3. Take photographs: Photos are concrete evidence of the property's condition. Take clear, well-lit photos of each room and specific areas that have damage or require attention.

  4. Clarify expectations: Specify what is considered normal wear and tear and what will be considered damage. This will help to avoid misunderstandings or disputes at the end of the lease.

  5. Provide space for comments: In your checklist, include a section for tenants to note any issues or concerns about the property when they move in. The tenant may notice problems that were missed during the initial walkthrough.

  6. Sign and date: Have the landlord and the tenant sign and date the checklist. This makes the document official and binding.

  7. Repeat at move-out: When it's time for the tenant to move out, you can use the printable tenant move-out checklist as an example to guide your final property assessment. This will ensure that all areas of interest are covered and the process is carried out systematically and fairly.

Performing detailed move-in and move-out inspections and having a documented checklist is a form of insurance for both parties. The tenants are guarded against wrongful penalties, while the landlord is protected from damages or neglect that may impact the property's value. A free printable move-in checklist simplifies this process and covers all the property's crucial aspects.

In conclusion, the move-in or move-out checklist is a beneficial document for protecting the interests of both parties during a property lease term. Ensuring the checklist is accurate and comprehensive can prevent potential conflicts or financial losses. For convenience, a free printable tenant move-out checklist can be utilized, making the process smooth, effective, and standardized.