Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Preparing Your Tenants To Move Out

Your tenant just gave you notice. Do you focus your energies on filling the vacancy or take a little extra time to help your renter prepare for a successful move-out? The latter option can actually reduce your workload in turning the unit around to the next tenant. Learn how to successfully prepare renters for a move-out for the greater good of all. Why Prepare Tenants for a Move-Out? Longtime property managers will have at least one story of a move-out that did not go well. Whether renters did not vacate on time, took things that did not belong to them when they left, or simply left the apartment in such disrepair that you needed to call in a cleaning crew, moving renters out can cause a lot of headaches and be time consuming for property owners When something does go wrong during the move-out, you can deduct from the tenant's security deposit to compensate for the money spent returning the rental to move-in condition. Yet this can upset some renters. In a worst-case scenario, they could contest the security deduction in small claims court. This means more of your time is taken up cleaning up this move-out mess. When you take the time to show tenants their move-out responsibilities, you ensure they know what they need to do to receive their full security deposit back. As a result, the unit looks great, your move-out inspection is simple, renters get their money back, and you can move new residents in without additional work. Here's some tips on what you can do. First step to help tenants move-out, draw up a checklist of everything you will inspect, and any rules tenants must follow regarding move-out. As you make the list, do not assume that anything is "common sense" or that tenants will remember what you said upon move-in. • List everything that could affect the return of the security deposit. If you require that renters steam clean carpets, clean the oven, or wash the walls, write it down. • Once your tenants give you their Notice to Vacate, acknowledge their notice and send them your checklist. Sending it in advance allows them to plan ahead. Offer to answer any questions your renters have about the checklist. Clearing up confusion ahead of time ensures compliance. • Remind your tenants they must leave utilities in their names until the final day of their rental term. If tenants do not pay all of the bills, you'll need to deduct from their security to do so. • While you cannot deduct from their security deposit for normal wear and tear, you can deduct anything that goes beyond normal. When you check the apartment, take photos of damage for your records. • Finally, if you have time-of-day requirements for renters who are moving out, let tenants know so they can comply. When you take the extra time to help tenants prepare, it benefits renters and property owners. The streamlined process will ensure the property is vacant less time. Ryan Jeffreys

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