Turning over a property from a previous tenant to a new tenant is a process that landlords, property managers, and residential rental agents need to master. The process will be very familiar to them because it is an essential part of any rental home business. Tenants come and go. Even if the lease terms are long, they will always be temporary.
With property turnovers frequently happening, some landlords tend to conduct them almost passively and in a non-systematic way because of how repetitive they are. When that happens, there is a higher chance that a few essential things will get overlooked, which can lead to misunderstanding, confusion, and legal dilemmas.
It would be beneficial to have a quick checklist of things you need to do and should never skip or overlook. Here are nine things that a landlord or rental agent must remember when turning over a property.
1. A Notice from the Current Tenant
The current must communicate to the landlord that they no longer be renewing their lease when it ends. It must be in written form because it would be helpful in the future if the tenant would claim that he did not express his intention of non-renewal of lease.
The landlord needs to respond to the notice with an acknowledgment of the tenant’s intent, and there should be a record that the tenant has received it. The landlord must also discuss the move-out process. It needs to be clear to the tenant that they must vacate the property and return the keys before a specific date and time.
2. Explain Move-Out Process
The tenant must prepare to conduct a walkthrough to inspect the property’s condition because it would be vital in determining security deposit deductions, which is where conflicts often arise. Move-out inspections usually happen two weeks before the tenant moves out.
The tenant must be aware that potential new tenants would occasionally check the property out even before his move-out day, but there should be a 24-hour notice from the landlord.
3. Schedule Ahead
Part of the turnover process is preparing the unit for new tenants. Since third-party service providers such as painters, plumbers, etc., will be involved, booking an appointment with them as soon as possible prevents turnover delays.
It is also vital to confirm the booking a few days before the scheduled date so that there will be time to look for alternative providers if scheduling conflicts arise.
4. Advertise the Property
The longer the rental property remains vacant, the longer it stays unprofitable. That is why a rental agent must find efficient means to fill in the vacancy in the shortest time possible. Although traditional marketing like posting flyers and giving brochures is still effective, adapting to modern and digital ways to market properties can provide a competitive edge.
Using listing syndication platforms such as Padleads, rental agents can publish details and photos of vacant rental properties online. Padleads makes it easier to syndicate the listing to popular websites, which would increase its visibility to home hunters looking for a place to rent.
5. Screen Tenants
Since Padleads helps save time in finding leads, rental agents have more time for screening tenants. Weeding out bad tenants from the pool of applicants will have long-term benefits for the landlords. Not only will it decrease the odds of tenant-landlord conflicts, but it could also lead to longer lease terms and lease renewals.
6. Conduct Move-out inspection
The tenant must be present during the move-out inspection. The written evaluation must be signed and dated by both the landlord and the tenant. The landlord must also bring move-in inspection documents during the move-out inspection. It will serve as the basis for identifying any changes in the property’s condition.
7. Finalize Move-out
On the day the tenant moves out, the landlord must conduct a final inspection to check for overlooked damages or lost items. The tenant must surrender the keys and leave their forwarding address. The landlord must settle the security deposit deductions and refund based on what state law requires.
8. Sign the Lease
The landlord and the new tenant must discuss the contents of the lease agreement. Both parties must understand everything before signing. Both parties must also be present during the move-in inspection. The landlord must also collect the security deposit before giving the new tenant the keys to the property.