As a landlord, you already know that the condition of your property when a tenant moves in is extremely important. Now that you’ve run a tenant background check and had your tenant sign on the dotted line, there are still a few things you must check off your to-do list before the new tenant moves into the property.
Repair damage, health, and safety issues
Once you look into any criminal histories or free mugshots of your potential tenant, it’s time to ensure that all damage, health, and safety issues are taken care of. And this needs to happen before your tenant takes up residence on the premise. Existing damage can consist of everything from a broken window to a hole in the wall.
To inspect safety issues, make sure there are two entrances and exits going into and out of the property, and that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and operating properly. Health issues you should check for include making sure there is no mold or lead-based paint hazards on the premises, which can be dangerous to your tenants. You as a landlord are responsible for solving those issues.
Heating, plumbing, and electrical issues
Before you allow a tenant to move into your apartment, mobile home, or house, you must make sure that all of the utilities are in working order. It doesn’t matter whether you or the tenant is responsible for paying the utility bills; keeping them functioning is still on your shoulders.
Make sure that the heat works in all rooms of the home, there are no clogs in the plumbing, and that all outlets and overhead lights work throughout the property.
Collect the security deposit and first month’s rent
It’s important to collect the entire first month’s rent and the security deposit before the tenant moves into the unit. Remember, tenants who are late on the first month’s rent tend to have problems paying in other months as well.
Make it easier on yourself and your business by collecting everything upfront when it’s due. To make it even easier, business check printing software can be invaluable come the first of the month when it’s time to pay vendors and employees.
Change the locks
Before you allow a new tenant to move in, you should always change the locks on all doors. This doesn’t just protect the tenant; it also protects you from being liable should something go wrong. It will only cost you around $20 to change the locks. It’s worth the money, as you don’t want old tenants having keys to a new tenant’s home.
Go through the premises with the tenant
On the day that your tenant is scheduled to move in, you need to walk through the premise with the tenant to ensure everything is as it should be. It is best if you go over the move-in checklist together, checking off items as you discuss them.
Your checklist describes the property as a whole and goes over each room in detail, addressing anything that needs to be repaired. This way, it protects you and the tenant if anything happens to the unit later on. It also allows you to compare the property’s condition when the tenant moves in to the condition when the tenant moves out.
These are just a few of the items that you need to take care and check off your list as a landlord before a new tenant moves into your property. This will help you protect you and the tenant in the long run.