Your tenant’s move-in day is a very important time for you as a landlord. Move in day sets the tone for how your tenant(s) will view your apartment business during their tenancy. If you’re organized and professional most tenants will show you the same level of respect. On the other hand, if you are sloppy and unorganized you will be setting yourself up for a headache as your tenants will see you as such and treat you poorly during their stay. Here are a few quick ways to make a good first impression to future tenants.
- Create an apartment walkthrough checklist. This checklist should be used as a guide so every aspect of the apartment is reviewed by you and the tenant on their first day. Your checklist should include a review of flooring, walls & ceilings, windows, cabinets, doors, and everything else in the apartment that could be damaged during the tenants stay. This checklist tells the tenant that you will also be looking at these same items on the day they move out and you expect them to be in the same condition…minus normal wear and tear.
- Make sure you have a copy of the apartment keys ready for the new tenants. This seems like a no-brainer, but many landlords forget this simple step and cause themselves lots of running around the day of move in. You should also consider changing the locks depending on your apartment building and neighborhood. Many tenants come to expect that the locks will be changed and you should be prepared to manage this expectation.
- Briefly go through the lease and the rules of the building again. For some, moving is a very involved and emotional experience and sometimes things get misunderstood or loss during the shuffle. It’s a good idea to remind your new occupants of the rules and regulations of the building.
- If you didn’t already have a W9 form completed by your tenant, now is a good time to collect this. If you are collecting a security deposit from your tenant, then it needs to be placed into an interest-bearing bank account (separate from your personal funds) during the tenants stay. To open this landlord-tenant account, the bank will require this form from you. This account also allows any interest earned on the deposit to be accredited to the tenant as well as saves you from paying taxes on that interest.