What is an inspection report?
When tenants move in or out of an apartment, a property inspection report is completed. In this document, the previous tenant, the new tenant and the landlord record the condition of the apartment. They note any defects or problems with the rented property.
The report provides a way for all parties to agree on the damages to the rented property and in particular on their repair. To ensure a smooth apartment handover, there are certain points to bear in mind. You can also find this information on the website of the tenants' association for German-speaking Switzerland.
What should the handover report contain?
- The previous tenant signs the document to confirm that they will pay for the repair of any damage. This only applies to damage caused during the tenancy due to above-average wear and tear. The tenant also authorizes the landlord to arrange the necessary repair work.
- The new tenant signs the document to confirm that the property is in good condition at the time of handover apart from the damage stated in the inspection report.
An example report from the tenants' association for German-speaking Switzerland can be downloaded here (in German only): property inspection report
What should I bear in mind at an apartment handover?
- Normal wear and tear is normal: no one is required to hand over an apartment completely free of damage. Some signs of wear are inevitable from everyday living. Regular wear and tear is included in the rental price. At the end of a rental period, an apartment does not have to appear exactly as it did at the beginning.
- The current value applies: on the other hand, a tenant can be asked to pay for above-average wear and tear. Again, there's no need to pay for a complete renovation. You do not need to return the walls, parquet floor or washbasin to their as-new value – just to their current value. You can use a service life table (in German only) to work out this value.
- What is “normal”? It is not always easy to distinguish normal from above-average wear and tear. The tenants' association provides the following rule of thumb: above-average wear and tear is when the tenant says: "There’s been an accident."
- What about insurance? Damage due to above-average wear and tear is a classic case for contents and personal liability insurance. But be aware that more and more insurance companies are, in their terms and conditions, restricting cover for damage caused by tenants. This applies, for example, to smokers and pet owners.