The moving process is one that is usually filled with stress and worries, both for property owners and tenants alike. When a new tenant moves in with a reefer trailer — of which there are almost 500,000 in operation — full of stuff, the stress sets in. It’s no wonder that so many people get overwhelmed throughout the moving process. As a landlord, it’s important to keep your cool and do whatever you can to make the moving process more effective. Here’s what you can do to make moving easier for your tenants.
Make Lease and Payment Agreements as Clear as Possible
Some tenants are experienced in dealing with rental terms, lease agreements, and payment expectations. Some tenants, on the other hand, may be entirely new to the process. In either case, it is your responsibility to communicate each step of the process for all new tenants. You may find that setting up an automated system works best for your property. In other cases, meeting in person and discussing the specifics of the situation may be preferably. Either way, you should never leave your tenants guessing about any step of the move-in process. After all, this is often one of the most complex parts of the rental process for both parties. Once you get that solved, things tend to get much easier for everyone.
Send Move-Out or Lease Renewal Notices in Advance
Were you aware of the fact that 33% of renters move each year? This is quite a large number of people. As a landlord, it can be tough to stay on top of all the different considerations that come up when you’re working with lots of tenants. Even a small number of tenants can potentially create a lot of problems that need solving. In any case, time is crucial when you’re dealing with tenants. It doesn’t really matter if you have ten tenants or ten thousand. Everyone needs to know what is happening, but more importantly, they need to know when it’s happening. The only way to make this clear to tenants is to communicate your requirements with plenty of time. If you are wondering whether or not a tenant is planning on renewing their lease, then be sure to bring this up in a time frame that gives the tenant plenty of time to make their next move. Not only does this make the move-out or lease renewal process easier, but it’s also just common courtesy that will contribute to positive relationships with tenants.
Set Expectations for Move-Out Cleaning
On a similar note, you have to assume that most people will not know everything that you expect out of them when they move out. Some tenants are going to simply assume that getting their furniture and belongings out of the property is enough. And in fact, for some landlords that may be adequate. But, if you’re like most landlords and you want a clean property on move out day, then you need to do your part to let each and every tenant know this. Whether you’re looking for a general cleaning job or an intensive one, you have to let tenants know what you expect from them on move out day. For more in-depth cleaning tasks, you may even be able to refer tenants to a cleaning company or local cleaning service that can make things easier for them.
Remind Tenants of Utility Responsibilities
Switching over utility accounts can be a nightmare for some people. It’s all too common for one tenant to move out, only for another one to move in without taking the time to ensure that the heat, electric, or water bill has been switched over to their name. These reminders can take many forms. Say you know your new tenant is a baseball fanatic with a collection of bats. It might be a good idea to remind them that baseball bats — especially shaved bats — often get damaged if the temperature is under 65 degrees. Not only does this show personal caring, it gives you an opportunity to remind them of their utility responsibilities. While this problem is quite simple to avoid, you may be surprised just how often this kind of issue crops up with tenants.
Even if it may not seem like your responsibility to remind tenants of their utility accounts, it can certainly get rid of headaches on both ends. A lot of times if a tenant forgets to switch a utility service to their account, they may end up contacting you as the landlord of the property. Even if such a problem is out of your control, you may end up being the one who has to do damage control. It’s better for everyone to prevent this problem and issue simple reminders about utility companies to all of your tenants. Doing so both for those new tenants moving in and for those who are moving out can help to avoid a world of problems.
Keep Updated Contact Information for Tenants
When a tenant moves out, it’s easy to think that they are out of your life forever. While in some cases that may certainly be the case, it’s wise to remember that you should keep up to date contact information readily available for anyone who has lived in one of your properties. This kind of record-keeping is important for a few key reasons. First and foremost, you need to know where to send a tenant’s security deposit once they move out. In order to give yourself the proper amount of time and space that’s needed to determine the scale and cost of any damages that the tenant made to your property, you’ll need to send their security deposit back once they’ve moved out. Keeping a new address on file along with the tenant’s contact information is the best way to make this process go as smooth as possible.
Having past tenants’ contact information around is also beneficial because it can give you the chance to contact them for any future tax or rental purposes. Say you need to prove occupancy in a certain property for a specific period of time. In such a case, you may need to be able to reach out and get in touch with the person or people who lived in your property during that time. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a past tenant’s information, it’s always a good idea to keep comprehensive records on file just in case.
Communicate Property Quirks Early On
Tenants love when you add any form of personal touch to make the renting experience better for them. There is perhaps no better way to do this than to inform the new tenant of any unique considerations that they may need to watch out for. For example, let’s say your property is in an area of Alaska prone to bear sightings. It might be a good idea to let your tenant know that there are almost 100,000 black bears in Alaska and that some of them might show up on the property from time to time. If you want a less serious example, maybe let your tenants know that there’s an odd angle that makes moving certain pieces of furniture difficult, then take the time to let them know before moving day. Are there any challenges with parking in the neighborhood? Do your part to inform them first. These kinds of small touches help you to start off on a positive note with your tenants. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with tenants, and letting them know about any quirks around the property is an excellent way to establish trust.
Being a landlord and dealing with the move in and move out processes for tenants is not always an easy process. By sticking to these simple tips, we hope we’ve given you some helpful ideas to consult with the next time you’re in the moving process.
Join Thousands of Property Managers
Get Updates By Email. Receive Weekly Articles and Tips. Advice on Tools and Resources. Updates on Federal and State Laws.