Whenever you rent a car, the car rental company walks outside with you around the entire vehicle and then you are required to sign off on any and all damage prior to accepting the rental. You should do no less when you rent a property. Meet the potential renter at the property and bring a camera. Walk through the entire unit (and around the outside for a single family unit) and take photos of the condition of the property before you sign the lease. Include language in the lease that the client knows and accepts – based on photos dated that day – the condition of the rental property and agrees to return the property at the end of the lease in the same condition.
When the client moves out, schedule a walk through with the renter within the legally allowed timeframe for your location. Bring your camera and the first set of photos. Document any new damage with photos and discuss this with the renter. If there are any damages that will be deducted from the security deposit, write them down and make sure you provide documentation and the return of any security deposit to the tenant within the legally allowed timeframe.