Renting

5 Things Every Landlord Must Address Before New Tenants move in

Story Highlights

  • 1. Safety features
  • 2. Why is the tenant moving?
  • 3. What is the property’s landscaping condition?
  • 4. Are there any personal requests from the new tenant?
  • 5. Can the tenant comfortably pay rent?

If you are a seasoned landlord, then you definitely understand the stress that comes with allowing a new tenant to live in your property.

The experience gets more hectic when your new tenant turns out to be hostile or irresponsible, eventually prompting you to evict them.

It gets worse, though: imagine finding a very cooperative tenant, someone with a very high moral standing, but your property isn’t up to their preferred standards.

You definitely would regret losing such a tenant. 

That is why you need a checklist of the things you need to do in order to improve the general outlook of your property, as well as to keep stressful tenants away. 

Here are 5 things that you need to address before welcoming a new tenant into your property:

1. Safety features

Even if you thoroughly inspect your rental unit when the previous tenant was moving out, it is better if you’d examine the status of different security features in the rental all over again.

If the prior tenant(s) inflicted damages to any of the security features and you had to get them fixed, you may need to check and confirm that the contractors did a foolproof job.

So, which safety concerns must you address before the new tenant moves in:

  • Make sure that the door and window locks are new, lockable, and can easily be unlocked. 
  • Ensure that all electrical connections are neither too loose nor too strained.
  • Check to see if the security alarms are working perfectly.
  • Are all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working?

Note that these standard safety measures, among others, could actually be legal requirements in your state. 

2. Why is the tenant moving?

Every responsible landlord must have several financial and security-related questions for new tenants.

One such question is: Why are you moving?

This question will help you unearth many financial and security red flags that the tenant could not have been willing to disclose.

If the tenant was ejected from her previous home because of failing to pay her rent, or maybe the tenant cannot clearly explain why she wants to move to that neighborhood, it could be risky to trust your property to such a tenant.

A tenant needs valid reasons as to why they are relocating from their previous home – reasons such as work-related moving, studies, or maybe they need a bigger place. 

3. What is the property’s landscaping condition? 

Every landlord hopes that for the time a tenant lives in their property, she will take good care of the lawn and overall landscaping.

But this isn’t always the case as not many people will look after your property with the same vigilance and care as you would.

Some renters will neglect the hidden areas and only take care of the home’s façade, consequently degrading the overall appeal of your home to new renters. That is why you should be ready to rework the landscape before new tenants come knocking. 

These are easy ways you can make your rental listing look more attractive, according to experts of Florida Rentals which lists many vacation rentals.

Get the bushes trimmed, the lawn well-watered and mowed, the flowerbed well weeded and mulched, and the overgrown trees trimmed to size. Also, inspect the perimeter of the property to ensure that the gutters are clean, there aren’t any insect nests or cobwebs, all yard debris is cleared, and that there aren’t any hideouts for mice and other rodents.

4. Are there any personal requests from the new tenant?

The new tenant may have some special requests after inspecting your home. Address those to the tenant’s satisfaction or to the best of your ability, whichever is more appropriate.

The tenant could ask for a more pet-friendly backyard, a unique color pattern for the interior walls, a new washing machine, or even a restructuring of the stairs to accommodate a physically-disabled member of their family.

For as long as the request is reasonable to you, try as much as possible to grant it.

Remember to include the additional expenditure that may arise from honoring these special requests in your lease agreement in order to avoid any possible future misunderstandings.

5. Can the tenant comfortably pay rent?

Landlords need to prepare a list of financial-related questions for new tenants in order to ascertain that the tenant can comfortably meet their rent obligations. A credit report would be a great source of the client’s financial history. 

But before you even source for the credit report, a simple question about how much the tenant makes in a month will give you a rough idea as to whether she can afford to rent your property for the period specified in the lease agreement.

You can also scare off jokers by asking them to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent upfront, in full. 

Bottom line

The issues we have discussed above will help you get the optimal value of your property.

If yours is a vacation rental, then you need to ensure that it is in the best possible condition every day in order to attract as many annual travelers as possible. 

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