Moving a new tenant into your Dallas/Fort Worth rental property is an energizing time; the vacancy period is over and you can begin to count on consistent rental income.
There are also a lot of details involved in moving a tenant into your property. Today, we’re sharing some of the things you must have on your move-in checklist to ensure everything is documented and to prepare you to start the tenancy.
Sign and Discuss the Lease Agreement
Before you set a move-in date and hand over the keys, you’ll want to make sure you and your tenants sign the lease agreement. You want to do more than sign it; you want to discuss it and make sure the tenants understand all of the expectations and responsibilities that are included in it. To keep communication clear and avoid misunderstandings, talk about your rent collection policy and the process for reporting maintenance issues. If your tenant is moving in with a pet, make sure they understand your pet policy.
Ask your tenants if they have any questions. It’s easier to clear up any confusion at this point rather than in the middle of the lease. This is the starting point from which you will build a respectful and productive landlord and tenant relationship.
Collect all Move-In Funds
The next item on your checklist should be the collection of move-in funds. This should include the security deposit, the first month of rent, and any other fees or deposits that are listed in the lease. Provide your new tenants with a detailed list of the funds you’ll need and what they’re for. That way, they won’t be surprised when you ask for a certain amount. Make sure they know what type of payment methods are acceptable. You might want an electronic payment or a certified check.
Conduct a Move-In Inspection
The move-in inspection is critical for a few reasons. First, you want to make sure everything in the property is working and ready for habitation. Check the sinks and the outlets, and make sure all the light bulbs and appliances work. You’ll also want to document the property’s condition. Take pictures and videos and make notes. If there’s a dispute after your tenants move out about how something looked when they moved in, you can refer to this checklist.
Give your tenants the opportunity to walk through the house as well. Let them document anything that they find, and then have all parties sign the move-in condition report.
Provide an Introduction to the Home
Give the tenants an introduction or an orientation to the property they’re going to be living in. Let them know if they should be expecting to receive any mail from previous tenants.
If you show them how to reset the garbage disposal and turn off the water, you may save yourself an emergency maintenance call in the future. Your tenants need to know where the hot water tank is, how to change the air filters, and what’s required for landscaping and lawn care. Help them to feel comfortable in the home right away, and leave them with instructions for how to reach you if there are any problems.
These are just a few of the things you need to have on your move-in checklist as a landlord. If you have any questions or you’d like to hear more about our Dallas/Fort Worth property management services, please contact us at McCaw Property Management.