Prior to moving in, the tenant and the landlord should walk through the premises and write down any existing damage. This written account is called an inspection report. The landlord and tenant should both get a copy of this report. In some jurisdictions, an inspection report is also required upon moving out, as a condition for the landlord to make a claim against the tenant's security deposit.

This is one of the most important reasons to read your lease in detail before you sign it! Take it home if you need to, and ask all the questions you need to clarify any terms in it that you're not sure about. You may want to beware of any landlord that is trying to rush you into signing or fails to respond to your concerns – if the landlord behaves this way before you've even moved in, imagine what it would be like if you were already moved in and needed repairs done, for example.

When renting real estate, the person(s) or party who lives in or occupies the real estate is often called a tenant, paying rent to the owner of the property, often called a landlord (or landlady). The real estate rented may be all or part of almost any real estate, such as an apartment, house, building, business office(s) or suite, land, farm, or merely an inside or outside space to park a vehicle, or store things all under real estate law.


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