The Move In and Move Out Process | Kansas City (KC) Landlord Advice
Tom Sedlack - Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Single family homes are probably some of the most difficult properties to manage. With multi-family properties, you have the same paint colors and flooring and appliances, and they are all co-located with an on-site maintenance person and a leasing agent. The management is simplified, as well as the ability to organize maintenance. With single family homes, not so much. There are different paints and carpets and they are all scattered throughout the metro area. You need to put a lot of trust into your individual tenants. So, it’s important to ensure you have a lot of documentation which goes beyond the lease and addenda. The move-in and move-out documentation is especially critical.
Move-In and Move-Out Checklist
The best landlord advice we can give is to use a very detailed move-in and move-out checklist. When a tenant has been screened and seen the property, we take care of the obvious functional maintenance damages. Then, we do a full move-in process that includes photographs that are easily printable and used in court. We take hundreds per home so we can capture every square inch of that property. We want to document what it looks like at the time of move-in.
The pictures aren’t good enough on their own. We also want something signed by the tenant saying that they agree to the move-in condition of that home. It states on the checklist that unless otherwise noted, the home is clean, undamaged, and in good working order. The tenant can annotate the document at move-in. If there’s a mark on the wall or a stain on the carpet, the tenant can note it. Then at move-out time, we have the move-in pictures and the signed document, and we’ll compare the move-out pictures to those. That allows us to easily confirm if there is any damage for which the tenants are responsible.
Tenant Move-In Process
There’s a lot going on when move-in day comes along. Tenants pay their deposit and the lease documents are in place. The tenant performs the walk through and they’ll have three days to make notes on the checklist. All the documents will be signed and provided to the tenants. Any work orders that are needed will be aggregated and submitted in a batch over the first week. That makes it easier on both the tenants and the owners.
For single family homes, there are sometimes things that seem to go wrong at the beginning of a tenancy. This is mostly just a result of differences of use. For example, maybe the back burner of a stove hadn’t been used in many years and it’s the first burner the tenant tries to turn on. There is usually a small flurry of necessary work orders in the beginning.
Move-In Video for Tenants
We provide tenants with a move-in video to show them where the emergency shut-offs are for gas, water, and electric, and how to change a filter. It includes requirements for them. We want tenants to be familiar with how to take care of a home and handle any basic maintenance needs. There is a website they can use and a phone number that a human person answers 24 hours a day. So, if there’s a gas leak or a water leak at 2am on a Saturday, we will respond to the tenant’s emergency. We will save costs for the owner by taking care of minor and major issues quickly and efficiently. We do a lot of triaging, which saves the owner money and helps the tenant self-address problems.
We end our move-in process with a tenant survey. We solicit feedback and ask for suggestions on how to improve the process. We have been able to make this process efficient and well-documented. It’s also non-invasive for the tenant.
If you have any questions about the tenant move in or the tenant move out process, please contact us at 33rd Company Kansas City. We’d be happy to help you with anything pertaining to property management in Kansas City (KC).
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