Moving in and out of a property is stressful for both tenants and landlords. It doesn’t have to be full of headaches and hassles if you’re prepared, however. When you can provide a consistent and documented move-in and move-out process for your Matthews & Charlotte tenants, it will be better for all parties involved.
We have some tips on how we handle these things at RE/MAX Gold, and we’re sharing some advice with you today.
Make Your Property Move-In Ready
First, you have to provide a great home for your tenants. Make sure everything is working, safe, and habitable. Any last-minute repairs must be made, and the home should be professionally cleaned. Check the landscaping and make sure the walkway and front door area is free of sticks, leaves, and debris. If you’re renting out a multi-family home, make sure tenants know where to park and how to get into the building.
Communication is Essential Throughout the Process
The most important thing you can do is to communicate openly and consistently with your tenants. You don’t want to collect the security deposit, hand over the keys, and then leave them alone to figure everything out.
Get together to go over the lease agreement in person. It’s easy enough to sign all the documents you need to sign online, but you want to know if your tenants have any questions about the lease agreement. You also want to make sure they understand their responsibilities and your expectations. This will avoid disputes and conflicts in the future.
Provide a bit of an orientation to the property. You can do this by giving the tenants a tour of their new home or by providing a handbook or an online link that gives them all the information they need. It’s helpful for them to know where the water and gas shut-off valves are in case there’s an emergency. Lay out the guidelines for air filter changes and explain any keys or remotes that come with the property. You want them to know where the nearest hospital and fire departments are, and how to get in touch with you if there is an emergency at the property.
When tenants are preparing to move out, communicate about what they’ll need to do to get their security deposits back. Remind them that the lease requires a professional carpet cleaning or other necessities.
Document the Condition of the Property
At both the move-in and move-out stages, you’re going to need to conduct a thorough inspection of the property. The idea is to document the condition of the home before the tenants moved in and after they lived there. This will help you determine if there is any damage that needs to be paid for out of their security deposit at the end of the lease term.
For the move-in inspection, take lots of pictures and notes. Make sure your tenants have an opportunity to conduct their own inspection and add any observations to the move-in report. After the move-out, do a similar inspection and compare the condition of the property to what it looked like before the tenancy. If there are any security deposit deductions, itemize them in detail so your tenants know why you’re keeping some of their deposit.
These are just a few of the things you can do to make your tenants feel comfortable moving into your rental home. If you have any questions or need any help with Matthews property management, please contact us at RE/MAX Gold.