So you have officially found a tenant to move into your house and you’ve taken care of the paperwork and everything needed to make it a legally-binding agreement. Although it can seem like the process is completed, your responsibilities as a landlord do not end here. There are still quite a few things that you are going to need to take care of before you are ready for your new tenant to move in. To better be prepared for this portion of the rental process, here are three things to do before your new tenant moves in.
- Inspect and Repair/Clean the Property
Although this shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you haven’t kept up with maintenance or if you were renting the property, you need to make sure that you do a thorough sweep of your space and clean every corner to ensure that you impress your new tenants and keep them happy from the first day. If necessary, you may also need to pay for deep cleaning in certain areas that are especially susceptible to dirt buildup such as carpets or pools.
While you are cleaning, you should make sure to take care of any repairs on the property that need to be done before your tenant moves in. If your state or city requires it, you may also need to have a property inspection done for verification that the space is livable. Different properties will require different inspection processes, so it is important to pay close attention to the needs and requirements of your space.
- Take Pictures and Create a Move-in Checklist
Whereas some tenants are responsible and take excellent care of their space, others can be sloppy and may even destroy property. It is important that you take pictures of your space after you clean everything and before your tenant moves in. Once the lease is up and your tenant is ready to move out, you can then take pictures of the space after their stay and compare the two to see if any damage has been done or if any mess has been made. This will keep you safe in the event that there is property damage and they choose to dispute it. If there is a dispute, you will have evidence that you can then take to a local Ann Arbor lawyer.
It’s also important that you create a move-in checklist that you will review with your tenant on the day that they move in and on the day that they move out. What is a move-in checklist? A move-in checklist is a list that describes the condition of the each of the rooms as well as the property as a whole. This will establish that you and your tenant have spoken about the property so that when it’s time for them to move out, you can review the overall condition and figure out what may have been damaged when they were staying on your property.
- Purchase Insurance for Your Property
Unless you trust your new tenant or know them on a personal level, it is wise to purchase property insurance to provide you with coverage in the even that the tenant takes poor care of your property and it ends up damaged. You may also want to purchase liability insurance while you are at it. Liability insurance will protect you legally if your tenant should be injured on your property during the duration of their stay. Both of these insurances are necessary to keep you protected. You should also make sure to conduct a free tenant screening beforehand to make sure they do not have a prior record that could make them a potential danger to your property.
Becoming a landlord is a simple process that is only made difficult if you do not have the right legal protection and knowledge of the law. Armed with these three tips, you will be more than ready to move your tenant in and officially begin renting out your property!