Some days, it seems a property manager’s job never ends. One task at the top of the list is making sure rental units are properly turned over and made move-in ready for the next tenant, and that it’s done as quickly as possible to avoid long periods of vacancy. Below is a helpful guide to ensure that the move-out/move-in process goes as efficiently as possible.
Perform a post move-out walk-through.
Move-out walk-throughs are about more than making sure the tenant receives any pending security deposit they may be due. They also provide the opportunity for you to make note of any necessary repairs or touchups that might be needed before welcoming a new tenant. Do a thorough analysis, including a check of doors, windows, pipes, appliances, carpets, walls, etc. This will provide you with a list to reference so nothing gets overlooked.
Schedule maintenance and repairs.
As soon as you’ve completed the move-out walk-through, you should start scheduling any needed repairs or property updates. If you plan on doing some of these tasks on your own, book out some time on your calendar. If you are going to hire contractors to handle some or all of these repairs or updates, make those calls as soon as possible. Depending on the timeframe you’re working with, you may need to prioritize more urgent needs and make a plan to address non-urgent needs after move-in.
Have the locks changed.
Regardless of how nice your last tenant was or how amicable their exit happened to be, as a matter of safety, you should always install new locks on the property. In fact, it should be one of the very first things you do. Speaking of safety, while you’re changing those locks, now would also be a great time to replace the batteries in any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Plan a deep clean.
Even if the exiting tenant was meticulous, you’ll still need to plan some time to clean the unit. Obviously, the amount of cleaning required will vary on a case by case basis. Ideally, you should visit the unit as soon as the departing tenant has officially vacated. That way you can assess the level of cleaning that will be required and then plan accordingly. Again, if you plan on outsourcing this task to a third party, be sure to schedule this service ASAP.
Perform a pre-move-in inspection
Once you’ve finished everything on your to-do list, the final step is to conduct a walk-through and document the condition of the property prior to turning it over to the new tenant. We strongly recommend that you take photos of every room from a variety of areas and angles. This will come in handy should you need evidence for withholding security deposit monies due to tenant damage or negligence – especially if the situation ends up in front of a judge.
What did we miss? Do you have a tried and true strategy for a smooth, efficient property turnover process? We’d love to hear it! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.