Hopefully, you’re a fan of checklists.
At Oceans Managing Group, we use detailed checklists to effectively move tenants in and out of your rental home. They help us document the condition of your property, hold tenants accountable, and make decisions about the work that may need to be done before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out.
Here’s why checklists are so important at the beginning and end of a tenancy.
Move In Checklists: Establishing Standards and Documenting Condition
You need to provide a rental property that’s safe, habitable, and functional. Everything needs to work inside the home before a tenant moves in and unpacks. Otherwise, you can expect an unhappy resident and a list of maintenance requests right away. This isn’t a great start to the tenancy.
The checklist helps you double-check all of your systems, including your roof, your HVAC unit, your electric and plumbing, and your safety features. Checklist items should include ensuring doors and windows lock, the air filters have been changed, and the outlets work. Check for leaks and drips under sinks and around toilets and tubs. Test the appliances and flush the toilets.
Cleaning is another checklist item. Make sure you hire professional cleaners who will do a thorough and dependable job making the property look brand new and ready for occupancy.
The condition of your property at move in matters because it sets the standard for how you want the property returned.
Your checklist will help you document that condition. Make detailed notes. Attach photos of everything, including walls and drawers and your outdoor space. Detail is important. For example, during a potential security deposit dispute, you may have to prove that a closet door was not broken at move-in. You’ll need a photo to demonstrate that.
Make sure you and your tenants sign the move in condition checklist. You want your new tenants to acknowledge that everything was clean, working, and in good condition when they moved in.
Move Out Checklists: Comparing Condition After a Tenancy
After your tenant has vacated the property, it’s time to go back inside the home with a copy of the same checklist you used during the move-in process.
Go through the checklist again, item by item. Make notes and take photos if you see any damage.
General wear and tear is to be expected. You’ll be responsible for taking care of those repairs as you turn the property over and get it ready for a new tenant.
But, any evidence of tenant damage needs to be documented. Perhaps there’s a hole in the wall that’s much larger than the type of nail that would be used to hang a picture. Maybe your floors are deeply scratched or a closet door is off its hinges. A tenant’s child might have colored on the walls in magic marker.
Take photos and make notes of the property condition on your checklist.
You’ll need this documentation to make decisions about the security deposit so you can pay for the necessary repairs and replacements.
The move in and move out process can be stressful for both tenants and owners. But, it doesn’t have to be. If you’re working with a property manager in Volusia County, you can be sure every detail is being taken care of.