Once you have found and screened a tenant to fill the vacancy at your rental, the next step is to actually have the tenant move into your property. Several steps should take place to make this transition as smooth as possible. If you get into the habit of checking off these items every time a new tenant moves in, the process will be much easier for both of you. The usual misunderstands and complaints will become a thing of the past.
Repair Any Damage or Health and Safety Issues
Before a tenant moves in, you need to repair any existing damage at the property. Damage could include a hole in the wall or a broken window lock.
You will want to make sure there are no health or safety issues. Safety issues include verifying that there are two forms of exit from the unit and that all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in working order. Health issues such as checking for mold and, for old buildings constructed before 1978, that there are no lead-based paint hazards.
This maintenance is necessary for the health and safety of the tenant. It also helps to ensure that you pass any property inspections required before the tenant moves in.
Clean the Property
This step is crucial if you are doing an apartment turnover, which means there was a previous tenant living in the unit. Be sure to have the apartment fully cleaned, especially areas like the bathtub, toilet, stove, and refrigerator.
Even if this is the first time you’re renting out the unit, you still need to vacuum or sweep to remove any debris.
Make Sure Heat, Plumbing and Electric Are Working
Before a tenant moves in, make sure to check all utilities are working. You will need to do this whether you are responsible for paying the utilities or whether the tenant is responsible for paying them.
Check to see if the heat works in all rooms, that there are no clogs or leaks in the plumbing and that the outlets and overhead lights in every room are operational. These are necessities that a tenant needs to maintain their quality of life.
Go Over the Lease and Have the Tenant Sign the Lease
You should go over the lease agreement with the tenant section by section so that they completely understand what they are agreeing to. Once you have thoroughly gone over the entire agreement with the tenant and answered any questions, you and the tenant should sign and date the lease agreement.