Most people don’t think about security deposits until they move out, but move-in is when you can take action to protect your deposit.
City ordinance requires landlords and tenants to complete a joint move-in inspection of the rental property within 10 days of the move-in date. A thorough move-in inspection may keep you from losing your security deposit to damages that were there when you moved in.
During a move-in inspection:
- Take photos and videos of any and all existing defects and damages. Make sure the photos and videos are timestamped with the date, and keep them throughout your lease.
- Note every hole, stain, crack, and flaw, no matter how minor.
- Check again for any signs of pests or infestation (fleas, termites, etc).
- Test the appliances and power outlets again.
- Test the smoke alarm.
- Test the water pressure and temperature.
Indiana law says you should not be responsible for normal wear and tear of the rental property. A thorough move-in inspection helps protect your rights under the law.
If the landlord refuses to do a joint inspection, try to get them to confirm their refusal in writing (an email or text message is fine) and then do your own inspection.