Seeing a new tenant moving to the house can be difficult for both the tenant and the owner. Getting a checklist of issues that needs to be resolved before the occupant moves in will help make the process smoother and ensure you do not skip any crucial steps.
Here are eight things you should fix before a potential occupant moves into your apartment.
1. Repairs and maintenance
As the landlord, you are expected to ensure the rental property is in a suitable condition before the occupant moves in. And as soon as the occupant moves in, the owner is expected to regularly maintain the rental property, so it’s always in good condition.
A standard and habitable property must have adequate ventilation, be free from infestation, have good water supply and have had electrical safety testing – among other essentials.
2. Put everything in writing
Always make sure agreements with your tenant are clearly spelt out on paper, and all concerned parties understand the rights and responsibilities of each party. A tenancy agreement is crucial as it will outline the rights and responsibilities of the tenants as well as the landlord. It will, in addition, define the terms of the landlord-tenant relationship. It will also state how disputes will be resolved if they arise.
3. Tenant screening
The tenant screening process helps you identify the right tenants for your property; people who’ll be able to pay rent on time and take care of the properties as though it were their own. Don’t forget to also check that they have a good credit rating, are legal residents and have no past criminal record.
4. Enforce and follow the rules
You need to enforce the rules of your tenancy agreement, or your agreement will lose its value. Some tenants who find you don’t follow or enforce the terms of the agreement would advantage of your leniency.
The late rent fee is perhaps the most key contract clause to apply. You may allow a short grace period, but when that expires, ensure your occupant pays his or her late fee in addition to the actual rent.
Landlords need to provide the tenants with relevant details regarding other issues surrounding the residential property they occupy. The law requires landlords to let the tenant know if there us anything about the property that is changing. For example, if the rented property and the mortgage have been transferred to a new owner, the landlord is obliged to notify the tenant.
Landlords are responsible for providing a habitable, safe and comfortable living space for their tenants. They should always be ready to fix any damages in any part of the property — especially those that impact habitability or safety — in a timely manner.
While faithfully adhering to such few basic rules may not necessarily shield the landlord from future conflict, they sure help to create a good landlord-tenant relationship and make your property appealing to prospective tenants.