Before a tenant moves in, you’ll need to discuss the lease agreement with your new tenant and share all of your expectations and requirements. The move-in process is an excellent opportunity to establish an open, respectful, and communicative relationship with your new tenants.
There are more than a few details to take care of. While you’re busy collecting the move-in funds and settling on a day to hand over the keys, don’t forget the move-in inspection and condition checklist. This is your best chance to protect your Santa Rosa rental property during the tenancy.
Always use a detailed move-in property condition checklist. This will allow you to effectively and accurately document the condition of the property before your new resident takes occupancy.
There are a few reasons that this is so crucial. The most basic reason you need a move-in checklist is so that everyone is on the same page in terms of the property’s condition.
Use the Checklist to Catalogue Maintenance Needs
During your walk-through inspection to ensure the home is move-in ready, you might encounter a few repairs that still need to be made. Maybe some light switches are acting funny or the screen door is sticking. Every little thing should be taken care of before your tenants take possession. Look for chipped paint, stains on the counters, and leaves or debris on the floors. Run the water, flush the toilets, and turn on the appliances and ceiling fans.
The checklist will reflect what’s working and what requires a repair or a replacement. Not only does this document the property condition, it also eliminates any early maintenance requests. Your new residents will feel satisfied that they’ve been handed a functional and comfortable home.
Send your checklist items to your vendors or contractors to ensure everything is taken care of before move-in day.
Next Checklist Item: Cleanliness
When your tenant returns the property at the end of the lease term, do you want it to be clean?
If so, you need to demonstrate where your standards of cleanliness are. The best way to do this is by providing a super-clean property at the beginning of the lease term. Not only does the tenant expect to move into a clean home, you’re also setting a baseline for what the home should look like when the tenant has moved out.
The move-in condition checklist can be used to confirm that floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets are free of dirt, debris, and dust.
Unless you have a passion for cleaning, we always recommend hiring professional cleaners to take care of every detail before the tenant moves in. A good cleaning crew will know how to prepare the home, sweeping behind appliances and dusting baseboards. Your checklist should reflect that all standards of cleanliness have been met.
Sign the Move-In Property Condition Checklist
This checklist documents the condition of your property. You need to sign off on it, and so does your tenant.
You want to be fair, so leave the checklist with the tenants for a day or two after they move in. During that period, they will have turned on water and used the heat or air conditioning. They’ll know if anything is wrong, and they can market it on the checklist.
Take good photos so you can compare the property condition now to the way it looks at the end of the lease term. You may need this if there are conflicts over the security deposit.
A move-in checklist protects you and it protects your property. It also helps your residents because they shouldn’t be held responsible for pre-existing issues that may be present in the home.
Do you need help putting together a checklist that will work? Contact us at Prestige Real Estate & Property Management. We manage homes in Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sebastopol, Petaluma, and Rohnert Park.