No Vacancy: What to Do Before a Tenant Moves into Your Property
Congratulations - you've just signed a lease contract with a new tenant and they are ready to move in right away. While it may be tempting to allow them to move in immediately to start bringing in rental income, there are some steps to take before the property is move-in ready. Neglecting these steps can put you at risk of complications in the future, so be sure to take the time to set yourself up for success.
Conduct a Thorough Inspection
Before a new tenant moves in, inspect all aspects of your property, so you know what condition it was in at the start. This way, you'll know if any damages already exist or are the result of your past tenant's actions. This knowledge will come in handy if there are any discrepancies when the current tenant moves out.
Your inspection may turn up some things you need to repair before your new tenant moves in, so get these repairs done as quickly as possible. You want to ensure that everything is safe and functional for your tenant. You can manage the repairs yourself or have your property manager handle this task for you.
Even if you've got all of the keys back from the previous tenant, you have no way of knowing if they made any copies or gave any away to friends, family members or tradies. For the security of your property and the safety of your tenant, it is best to install new locks before moving day.
Go Over Property Rules and Lease Terms
You may have provided all the necessary information to your new tenant in writing, but there is no way to guarantee they will read and remember everything. To ensure your tenant understands what is expected of them as a resident, take the time to walk them through the most important points. Be sure to talk about:
- Pet policies.
- Rent due dates.
- Submitting maintenance requests.
- Quiet hours.
- Anything else you deem critical.
Collect the First Month's Rent and Bond
Have your tenant pay the first rental period and a bond/security deposit. You'll need the security deposit to cover any issues your tenant may cause during their tenancy. Collect the money when your tenant signs the lease agreement. That way you can ensure they are serious about renting your property and able to pay.
Provide Contact Information
Your tenant will need to get in touch with you or your property manager multiple times during their tenancy. Be sure to provide them with your information from the start. Your tenant shouldn't have to scramble to find your contact details during a maintenance emergency or other critical issue. Make yourself or your property manager as accessible as possible. Your tenants should always be able to get in touch whenever they need to with ease.
Take a Deep Breath and Relax
Finding suitable tenants is often the hardest part of managing rental properties, so take a breath now that it's over. Shift your focus on keeping your tenants happy. With any luck, they'll want to stay in your property for quite a while. This will save you from having to go through the tenant search process again soon.
Keep your property in good condition and respond to tenants in promptly. This way, your tenant will be more likely be content renting from you. You will also be able to reap the rewards of having top-notch, long-term tenants. With just a little more effort, you'll keep your property safe from damage and full of happy tenants, too.