Moving is stressful, and to provide a great rental experience for your tenants, try and make the move-in and the move-out process as simple as possible. They will appreciate that you care about their needs, and they’ll be more willing to work with you on things like security deposits and returning the keys.
We have some tips for how to provide an efficient and effective move-in and move-out process.
Moving In: Provide a Clean and Functional Property
Before your tenant moves in, conduct a complete inspection of the property to make sure there aren’t any last-minute repairs that are needed. You’ll want to turn on all the faucets and check for leaks under sinks. Test each outlet. Run the appliances and turn on the heat and the air conditioning. Have the home professionally cleaned and document the condition of the home with a detailed inspection report and photos of everything.
It’s also a good idea to walk through the home with your tenant. Show them how everything works. For example, they’ll need to know where to turn off the water and how to reset the garbage disposal.
Moving In: Discuss the Lease Agreement
It’s also important that you go over the terms of the lease with your tenant. It might be easiest to send your tenants an electronic copy of the lease to sign. However, you want to be available to answer any questions they might have about their responsibilities. You’ll want to explain the rent collection policies and the consequences of not paying on time. You’ll also want to discuss what they are expected to do in terms of keeping your King County rental property clean and well-maintained. Discuss who is responsible for utilities, pest control, and landscaping. Even if this information is in the lease – you should go over it with your tenants to ensure there isn’t any confusion.
Moving Out: Remind Tenants of Your Expectations
When you get your tenant’s written notice that they’re planning to move out and they won’t be renewing the lease, send them a letter that lists the things they’ll need to do before moving out. This might mean having the property cleaned professionally or the carpets steam-cleaned. Refer to the lease agreement. Explain how they should return the keys and what they’ll need to do to get the security deposit back. Make sure you get a forwarding address.
Put this in writing so it’s documented, and invite your tenants to contact you with any questions.
Moving Out: Returning the Security Deposit
After a tenant has moved out, you’ll conduct another inspection and you’ll compare the condition of the property at that time to the condition the home was in before the tenants took possession. Remember that normal wear and tear is to be expected, and you cannot hold the tenants accountable for it. Those small nail holes in the walls and scuff marks from furniture are normal.
Damage, however, can be deducted from the security deposit. If you’re going to withhold all or part of the deposit, prepare an itemized list of what the money was spent on and why the tenant is responsible for it. Make sure you return the deposit, or part of it, within 21 days of move-out.
These are just a few of the things you can do to ensure the moving in and moving out systems work for both you and your tenants. For further ideas, contact us at People’s Real Estate.