Passing Military Housing Inspection

Your Move-Out Checklist

housing inspection
Getty Images/sorbetto

Frequent military moves can be challenging for military families, which typically find themselves moving six to nine times over the course of a military career. If you live in military housing, each of those moves includes a white-glove cleaning inspection. If your home isn’t properly cleaned, you may find yourself owing a fee to base housing to clean it for you.

As you can imagine, the process can be stressful and time consuming, and trying to keep all the requirements straight can be nearly...MORE impossible. You could, of course, hire an outside company to clean your home to “standard,” but should still know exactly what needs to be done to avoid a fine. Here’s a checklist that will help pass your move-out inspection with flying colors.


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    Wood Flooring

    wood floor
    Getty Images/Gen Sadakane / EyeEm

    If you’re lucky enough to have newer wood or laminate flooring in your housing unit, make sure you use a cleaner that’s designed specifically for this type of flooring. Harsh cleaners may damage the floor, and you may find yourself having to pay to replace it.

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    Tile or Vinyl Flooring

    Make sure you sweep, vacuum, and then thoroughly mop these areas. Invest in a good grout cleaner for tile floors if necessary. 

  • 03 of 25

    Carpeted Areas

    Base housing is notorious for being sticklers about carpets. That makes sense, considering how much dirt and nasty stuff can be caught in the fibers. Know that this is a priority item for housing inspectors, and invest in DIY carpet cleaner or a professional service.  

  • 04 of 25

    Patio Doors

    Is the screen door to your back yard in good shape? Make sure the glass is streak free and the metal frame is free of dust, dirt, and damage.

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  • 05 of 25

    Cabinets, Closets, and Shelves

    If you thought ahead and put down shelf paper for your cupboards, take it off before your inspection. Give the outside of the cabinets a good wipe down to remove dirt and smudges. 

  • 06 of 25

    Mirrors and Windows

    window washing
    Getty Images/BraunS

    Don’t skimp on your glass cleaner. Invest in the name brand and make sure your glass surfaces are streak- and dust free.

  • 07 of 25


    Remember, this is a “white-glove” inspection; you need to dust everything, including the curtain rods and blinds. 

  • 08 of 25

    Light Fixtures

    Make sure you dust all of your lighting fixtures and remove any bugs or debris.

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    Ceiling Fans

    Starting to feel like your duster is your best friend? Well, here’s another activity for you two!

  • 10 of 25


    plumbing inspection
    Getty Images/GregorBister

    Pipes in the kitchen, garage, and bathroom are prone to developing water, mildew, and soap stains. Be sure to give everything a good wipe down to make sure it looks like new.

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    The housing inspector will be checking to see if the unit is move-in ready for a new tenant. Make sure you scrub every part of the toilet. from the bowl, to the seat, as well as the hinges and base.

  • 12 of 25

    Shower, Bathtub, and Vanity

    You might need to invest in some heavy-duty cleaner to ensure that the basin and doors are free of mildew and soap residue. If you’ve used an adhesive to hang a storage compartment in the shower, you’ll need to make sure there is no sign of the residue. 

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    Wall Heaters

    Dust to remove any dust and dirt. A lot of people overlook this, but housing inspectors never do. 

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    Remove any and all trash from the premises before the inspection. 

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    You’ll want to clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator. Remove each basket and wash it by hand. Do this well in advance of the inspection to allow time for a deodorizer, if needed.

  • 16 of 25

    Oven and Stove

    Both appliances need to be clear of grease and dirt. If you have racks and drip pans, remove them and clean them by hand. 

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    Give your dishwasher a wipe down and check that there is no standing water or food inside.

  • 18 of 25

    Air Vents

    Dust to remove dirt or debris. 

  • 19 of 25

    Utility and Storage Areas

    If your unit has a storage or utility room, make sure everything is wiped down thoroughly.

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    Pay extra attention to your yard, as it’s another priority for inspectors. Remove any trash, debris, or pet droppings. You’ll also want to fill in any holes or bare areas. Before the inspection, cut the grass and trim the edges. 

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    Walls and Ceilings

     This is another easy-to-overlook area. Make sure that all of the walls are clear of dust and cobwebs. Any stains that you can’t remove—like grease or tobacco—could result in an expensive charge. Don’t forget to wipe down the outlet covers!

  • 22 of 25

    Carport or Driveway.

    To the extent possible, make sure that the driveway or carport is free of oil stains, grease, or other markings. To keep this from becoming a last-minute issue, keep a close eye on these areas and clean up stains as soon as they occur.

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    Before the inspection, make sure that you’ve removed all of your belongings. Dust and clear any dirt or cobwebs in the area. Check for grease or oil stains as well. 

  • 24 of 25


    Curbside appeal is important for renting a home, and it’s just as important for your housing inspection. Check all of your outdoor bulbs, trim the grass and edges, and make sure that the exterior of the home still looks good. You’ll also want to make sure that your sidewalk area is clear of any debris.

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    Hot Water Heater

    Make sure that you thoroughly wipe down the heater. There may be minimal wear, but you’ll want it to look clean. Change filters as necessary.

Living on post has many perks, but the housing inspection can be intimidating. Protect yourself from any disputes by taking pictures of the unit when you first move in, and taking pictures again before your inspection. You want the unit to look just as good, if not better, than when you arrived.