Inspection reports prove the condition of the property when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out. The Residential Tenancies Act 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.
Ideally, the inspections should be completed when the property is empty.
Tenants should attend the inspections with the landlord. However, if the landlord proposes two separate times for the inspection to take place and the tenant doesn’t agree to attend, the landlord can complete the inspection without the tenant. It should be noted 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 scheduled for 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 are required to keep inspection reports for three years after a tenancy has ended.
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.
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 could be considered damage and make sure it gets written 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.
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