You’ve lined up a new tenant for your rental property. Now what? Just as with managing a move out, it always seems like more work than you think it should be to go from finding the person who say “I want it!” to handing over the keys. Let’s walk through some steps for a smooth transition.
First, who is this person who wants to live in your rental? Have the prospective tenant fill out an application. Include information such as full names of everyone who well reside in the property, most recent two addresses and most recent two employers (or residences and employers covering the last two years). Call all of the references for everybody. A quick Google of the information and a background or credit check can also provide a lot of information.
Second, determine if the information you have gathered meets your criteria for a renter. For example, what if there was a bankruptcy 5 years ago but the last 2 landlords report the rent was paid on time every month? Tough call or no brainer? Everyone has their comfort zone – find yours and be sure to apply the same standards to all applicants.
Then, once you are satisfied (as much as you can be) that the rent will be paid on time and the tenants will take care of the place, it’s time to finalize the details and pull the lease together. If you don’t have a lease, many samples can be found online. Be sure to check state or local guidelines/laws to see if there’s anything you are required to include or exclude. If you’re still not sure, consult a lawyer.
A couple of suggestions to include (but not limited to):
- Full legal names of all parties who will live on the premises, excluding minor children.
- Exact address and exact dates of the terms of the lease.
- Spell out who is responsible for what utilities.
- Amount of the monthly rent and the exact date it is due. On what day is it considered late and what the late fee is.
- Any security or pet deposits.
Once the lease is signed and the deposit and first month’s rent have been collected (be sure to give the tenant copies and receipts and keep a copy of everything for your records), it’s time to turn over the keys and request the tenants do a walk through with an Inventory and Condition Checklist and return a copy of it to you. The Checklist should include a list of every room and everything in the room (window coverings, furniture, appliances, etc) with room for notes. Encourage the new residents to take photos or videos with a digital date stamp.
Now that your tenant is settled into the rental property, it’s time to file everything in a safe place, labeled properly so you can find it easily when you get that call that they’re moving out.
By following these or similar steps, you can help minimize the current and future hassles of being a landlord. Sound overwhelming? 8z Rentals can manage your property and tenant transitions. Ready to get started? Give us a call today! 888-613-8832