The move-in process can be overwhelming for both landlords and tenants. When you’re renting out a Jacksonville property, make sure you’re organized on your end and prepared to communicate your process and expectations to your new residents.
A good starting point is a move-in property condition checklist. This will allow you to effectively and in great detail document the condition of your property before your tenants take possession. It will also provide you with an easy roadmap for any repairs or updates that need to be made before your tenant moves in.
Inspect for Maintenance Needs and Plan for Repairs
Do a thorough walk-through of your property to make sure everything is functional and ready for the tenant. The first thing on your condition checklist should be any repairs that need to be made before the move-in date. Address even the minor issues. Have those sections of the walls with chipped paint taken care of and make sure all the outlets work. Test every appliance and turn on the water in each faucet.
It’s likely you’ve already done this before marketing your home, but do it again during the inspection so you can note on your condition report that everything is in good working order. This will also eliminate any early maintenance requests and show your new residents that the care and condition of your property is important to you.
If there are any repairs that need to be made, schedule your vendors and contractors as soon as possible, and definitely before the tenant’s move-in date.
Make Notes on Property Condition and Cleanliness
A clean home is important, not only because tenants deserve to move into a property that’s free of dirt and debris but also because you expect to get the home returned in clean condition at the end of the lease term. Use your move-in condition checklist to confirm that floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets are free of dirt, debris, and dust.
Hire professional cleaners to take care of every detail before the tenant moves in, and make sure your checklist reflects that all standards of cleanliness have been met.
Sign Off on the Documentation with your Tenant
The most important reason to use a move-in checklist is that this will allow you to document the condition of your property. This is essential, because you’ll use the same checklist to compare how the property looks at the end of the lease term.
Take excellent pictures and even videos. Write up descriptions and make notes. Share the checklist with your tenants when they move in. You’ll want to provide your tenants with the opportunity to make any of their own observations on the condition of the property at move-in. Keep this in your records and refer to it when you’re inspecting the property at move-out.
A move-in checklist protects you and it protects your property. It also helps your residents because they shouldn’t be held responsible for pre-existing issues that were in the property before it became their home. This will be especially necessary later, during the move-out process when you’re making decisions about the security deposit.