Conducting a Move-Out Inspection

How do I perform a proper condition inspection upon having my tenant move out?

BC Landlord Guide- Move-Out Inspection
How do I perform a proper condition inspection upon having my tenant move out?

On or after the day that the tenant ceases to occupy the rental unit or on any other day that the landlord and the tenant may agree upon (but in any event, prior to the start of any new tenancy), the landlord and the tenant must inspect the condition of the rental unit together and the landlord must complete a condition inspection report. Once completed, both parties must sign the report and the landlord must give a copy of the report to the tenant within 15 days of the later of (1) the date of the move-out inspection or (2) the date that the landlord receives the tenant’s forwarding address in writing.

As is the case with move-in inspections, the landlord must offer the tenant at least two separate opportunities for the move-out inspection. If the tenant does not participate in the inspection on either occasion, the landlord must inspect the property by themselves, complete the report, sign it without the tenant and give a copy of the report to the tenant within the prescribed period of time.

By not participating on either occasion, the tenant forfeits their right to the return of a security or a pet deposit, or both. However, if a landlord fails to offer a minimum of two opportunities for inspection to the tenant or if the landlord does not complete the condition inspection report and give a copy of it to the tenant within the required period, the landlord may not make any subsequent claims against a security deposit or a pet deposit, or both.

In situations where the tenant has abandoned the rental unit, the landlord must still inspect the rental unit and complete and sign the move-out inspection report without the tenant. However, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant with any opportunities to participate in the move-out inspection. Also, a failure to give the tenant a copy of this report will not extinguish the possibility for the landlord to make a claim against the security deposit or pet damage deposit (or both).

Last revised: April 17, 2016

  • It is recommended that you take pictures of the property on the same day as the completion of the inspection. These pictures may serve as important proof in the event of any future claim for damage to the rental unit.
  • Whenever you offer an opportunity for the tenant to inspect the property, you should put this proposed date in an email to the tenant. This may serve as important evidence later on of you having provided at least two opportunities for the tenant to inspect the property. 

This article explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada and is not a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation.