7 Steps for a Smooth Moving Season
‘Tis the season of dripping ice cream cones, blossoming flowers, lazy, sun-drenched afternoons – and rumbling moving trucks. Spring and summer are the most popular time of year for tenant changeovers. As the landlord, you’ll need to attend to a long list of details to ensure that this process goes smoothly. You’ll have to assess damage in apartments that are seeing a turnover, collect keys, oversee any necessary repairs, and spruce up units in anticipation of new tenants, all on a tight deadline.
It can get overwhelming, fast!
No worries; once again, Jack Jaffa & Associates is here to take the stress out of your job and help you be an efficient and professional landlord.
Read on for 7 ways to make moving season as smooth and hurdle-free as possible:
1) Find out everyone’s schedules
As soon as you know which tenants are leaving, find out everyone’s anticipated moving day. You’ll need to be sure that there’s enough space in between each apartment’s changeover for you to prepare the unit for new renters. Don’t assume your old tenants are leaving the day after their leases are up or that your new ones are moving on the first of the month. Avoid any unpleasant surprises by being clear about everyone’s moving schedules before they happen.
2) Print up instructions for every tenant who’s moving out
You might have move-out instructions stipulated in your lease agreement, but a tenant who’s busy packing and preparing for a move is likely to forget everything written in your contract. Give them a gentle reminder of your expectations by providing them with a written list of instructions for move-out day. You can also provide them with the move-in inspection report you conducted before they started their tenancy. Let them know that you’ll be using this report to assess the apartment’s condition. This will encourage them to leave it in the best possible condition.
3) Conduct a move-out inspection
No one likes it when the landlord comes to visit, but a tenant will understand that you need to inspect their unit before moving day. If you snapped pictures of the apartment before your tenant moved in, take them out and compare the way the apartment looks now to the way it appears in the pictures. Be sure to inspect all appliances, fixtures, and utility systems. If there is major structural damage beyond normal wear and tear, explain that you will need to fund the cost of repairs from your tenant’s security deposit. If the cost of repairs exceeds the deposit, let your tenant know that they will be responsible for the bill as per your lease agreement.
Take care to identify all necessary repairs so that you can tend to them as soon as your tenant leaves. You don’t want to be stuck frantically fixing a malfunctioning oven or a leaky sink the day your new tenant is scheduled to move in.
4) End the lease on good terms
Make sure you give your old tenant a warm sendoff. Be there to see them on their way out and tell them you’ve enjoyed having them as your tenants. Collect their keys and remind them that their security deposit will be mailed to them after you’ve deducted the cost of repairs, as per your lease agreement. Remain friendly and cordial; you don’t want to kill a positive relationship that’s lasted for years in just a few hours.
5) Prepare the apartment for your new tenants
Now that your former tenant has moved out, it’s time to get the apartment ready for its new dwellers.
First, you’ll need to tend to any repairs. Make sure the apartment is fully functional and compliant with all health and safety regulations.
Next, spruce the place up a bit with a fresh coat of paint, some new light fixtures, or new window treatments – or all three!
Finally, see to it that the apartment is spotlessly clean. You can hire a cleaning service if it needs major scrubbing. Make sure it shines! Nothing turns off a new tenant like a grimy counter or streaked windows.
6) Conduct a move-in inspection
Once your apartment is ready for its new dwellers, you’ll need to conduct another inspection. This time, you’ll be snapping pictures and writing up a report about the apartment’s condition for comparison when your incoming tenant moves out. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what the apartment looks like before you start a new tenancy.
7) Welcome your new tenant
By now, you might be ready to sleep for week –but your job is not over yet! Be sure to welcome your new tenant warmly. Explain your lease terms and expectations clearly. Issue instructions for move-in day, rental payments and anything else they need to know as your tenants. You can even go the extra mile and prepare a small welcome packet for new tenants, consisting of some snacks, drinks, a neighborhood map, and a list of important local businesses and services they might find helpful.
If you find any compliance issues during your in-between-tenants inspections, be sure to give us a call. We’re always here to help you out!
Jack Jaffa & Associates wishes all of our clients a successful, stress-free moving season.