Need to know
- Inspection reports prove the condition of the property when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out.
- The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) requires landlords to complete an inspection report within a week of the tenant moving in and out.
- After completing the inspection, landlords must give the tenant a written inspection report.
- If the landlord does not carry out an inspection, the landlord cannot deduct anything from the security deposit for physical damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
What is an inspection report?
Inspection reports prove the condition of the property when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out. The RTA requires that at least two written inspection reports be done.
- The move in inspection report must take occur one week before or after the tenant moves in.
- The move out inspection report must take occur one week before or after the tenant moves out.
If the landlord does not carry out an inspection either before or after the tenancy, the landlord cannot deduct anything from the security deposit for physical damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear. If a landlord makes a deduction from the security deposit without carrying out both inspection reports, the tenant can take legal action to get their security deposit back.
Ideally, the inspections should be completed when the property is empty. Tenants should attend inspections with the landlord. However, if the landlord proposes two separate times for the inspection and the tenant doesn’t agree to attend the landlord can complete the inspection without the tenant. The landlord should note in the inspection report whether or not the tenant attended. The inspections must take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and cannot be on a holiday.
After completing the inspection, the landlord must immediately give the tenant a written inspection report. Both the landlord and the tenant should keep a copy of any inspection reports in case there is a dispute. Landlords must keep inspection reports for three years after a tenancy ends.
Tips for Tenants and Landlords
- Try to arrange your inspection in the daytime.
- Try to have all of the furniture moved out.
- Be thorough: open drawers, look under sinks, in the refrigerator, and in the stove.
- Inspection reports can also include pictures – consider taking a camera or your phone so that you can take pictures or a video.
- Tenants should point out anything that looks like damage during the move in inspection and make sure the landlord writes it down.
There are some organizations in Alberta that sell standard inspection forms for purchase by landlords. For more information, go to our page on forms.