Managing a tenant’s move-in and move-out in Williamsburg, VA will have a serious impact on your success as a landlord. Your procedures need to be detailed and consistent in order to protect your property and your financial interests.
Your tenant will notice what kind of condition the property is in during the move-in process. If you provide a professionally cleaned, working home that is well-maintained, your tenant will understand that it’s important to keep the property looking that good throughout the term of the lease. Everything in the house should work, and you should make sure there are new air filters, light bulbs, and batteries where necessary.
Conduct a walk-through inspection with your tenants on moving day. Show the tenant everything that’s necessary to know about the house, such as where the water heater is, how to turn off the water, and where the air filters are kept. Review all the functions of your property and make sure the tenants are comfortable with how it works. Document the condition of the home with pictures. You’ll need to compare these photos to those you take after the tenant has moved out.
Collect Certified Rent
The first month’s rent and security deposit should always be paid in certified funds. Otherwise, a check could bounce after the tenant has already moved in. Require the tenant to pay with a certified bank check or a money order.
Documentation and Signatures
The tenant should sign the inspection checklist during move-in and move-out periods. This helps to ensure you and the tenant agree on the condition of the property. It will minimize tenant disputes, especially when it comes to the return of the security deposit.
Separating Wear and Tear from Damage
You cannot charge the security deposit for wear and tear, but you can charge it for damage. Talk to the tenant about the difference, so they know what they could be charged for after they move out. Take every opportunity to discuss this; at the lease signing, when maintenance is done, and when a tenant gives notice that he or she will move out.
If you need help managing an efficient and consistent move-in and move-out process, please contact us at Dodson Property Management.