We tapped some experienced landlords and property managers for the best advice on taming move-out mayhem, and getting your unit back in good shape:
The Pre-Walk Thru
Do a mock walk-thru a two-weeks or a month before tenants are set to leave. Point out every item that you will deduct from their security deposit if they don’t fix it. Write it down, and leave the list behind.
The Phone List
Provide tenants with a list of preferred vendors, like carpet cleaners, general cleaning, or handymen. Include the number and schedule for large item trash pick-up, local charities who take donations, and utility companies.
Provide a Cleaning Checklist
As many landlords can attest, clean is in the eyes of the beholder.
Supply an item-by-item cleaning checklist for each room. If you are expecting the tenant to wash the windows, baseboards or clean underneath the refrigerator, you should say so.
If possible, estimate the time it may take to complete each task, that will encourage the tenant to start earlier, or list the tasks on a monthly calendar. Encourage tenants to THINK AHEAD!
Don’t have a cleaning checklist? Check out http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/ for room by room tasks and helpful cleaning tips.
Nothing diffuses tenant disputes better than walking through the unit together, once all items are removed and the place has been cleaned. The tenant can see first-hand what you will have to deduct for, and there’s still a chance to talk it out before they walk away.
Don’t let the tenant get away without leaving a forwarding address. You may need it to collect money owed or to have them pick up forgotten items. Ask for the forwarding address as soon as the tenant has a new lease. Threaten, bribe, or cajole — but don’t let them leave without knowing where they are going!
With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.