The meaning for move-in condition can vary, but the term is most commonly used when dealing with rental properties like apartments. For rental properties, move-in condition refers to the state of a property when the tenant moves in. For property sellers or real estate agents, move-in condition means that the house on the market has been fully prepared and cleaned and is ready for the new owners to move in. This generally means that everything is in good repair, appliances are installed, and the dwelling has been professionally cleaned.
Tenants and landlords of business and residential rental properties should conduct inspections of the move-in condition whenever a new tenant moves in. By keeping track of the condition of the property at move-in time, a tenant can avoid charges for damage he did not cause, and a landlord can charge a tenant correctly for any damages caused by that tenant. When outlining the move-in condition of a property, a tenant and property manager fill out a move-in condition form. Information on this form includes notes about any damage already in the apartment, and often includes a detailed list of everything in the apartment so the condition each item can be noted.
The move-in condition inspection for a rental is the time to report things that need repair. A tenant inspecting a new property should take a close look at the inside and outside of all storage areas, walls, and appliances. Take note if any areas are left dirty or if anything is poorly installed in a way that might cause it long-term damage. Turn appliances on and off and make sure they work.
Taking photographs of the move-in condition while touring the property with the landlord is the best way to make a provable record of the move-in condition of the dwelling. Without record of damage in the dwelling when the tenant moved in, the tenant may end up being held responsible for costs related to damage he did not cause. Likewise, a landlord should take photographs of a dwelling when a new tenant moves in to avoid claims that damage was there prior to the tenant's arrival.
When moving into a property, it is important for the tenant to mark every damaged or dirty object, however small, to avoid being held responsible for it when he moves out. Take good photographs, and use the date and time function on the camera to correctly mark the date of move-in on the pictures of the property. Though most landlords are honest and simply want to protect their property, some bilk inattentive tenants by charging them for damage that other tenants already paid for.