If you’ve had great tenants and they give you notice that they’re leaving at the end of their lease, you’ll need to rely on a consistent tenant move out process to ensure that you get the property back in the same condition that you rented it. This is also an opportunity to see what you’ll need to do to prepare the property for your next tenants. As a property management company in Modesto, Patterson, and the greater Stanislaus county area, there are a few things we focus on during a tenant’s move out.
Move In Inspections
Move out inspections should not start when the tenant has left. This process actually starts in the beginning when a tenant moves in. At that point, you need to do a move in inspection with your tenant. This allows you to document the condition of the property when the tenant takes possession of it. I tell tenants we do this to note anything that we might find during the move out process, and it protects tenants from being unfairly charged for damage. A silly example I like to share is this: if we see a hole in the wall during the move in inspection, we document it. But if the hole has a twin at move out, the tenant will be responsible for that one. These inspections tell us what’s already there at the property.
Move Out Inspections
After you receive the 30-day notice and your tenant is getting ready to vacate, do a pre-move out inspection. Not a lot of tenants like to do that because they are packing and usually living out of boxes. However, the purpose of this inspection is to compare the original move in inspection with the current property condition. It gives the tenant an opportunity to take care of things before moving out.
During both the move in inspection and the one you conduct during the tenant move out process, keep a checklist of certain things. For example, light bulbs should always be working. Replace light bulbs before a tenant moves in so they are all working, and then you can expect that all of them to work when a tenant moves out. Buy new drip pans for the stove. This is simple and they never clean easily, so if you replace the drip pans before a tenant moves in, you can expect them to be replaced again at move out. Look at door stops to make sure they’re all there, and test the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the air filters in the air conditioning system and require them to be replaced at move in and move out.
Carpets and Paint
Make sure the carpets are shampooed. You can require tenants to have the carpets cleaned when they move out. Let them know what you expect. Consider the life of the products that are in the home. A carpet may have a 10-year life expectancy, but if you have to replace it after a tenant has lived there for two years, you would have to prorate the first two years and only charge the tenant for remaining eight years. Also, if a tenant has been in your property for more than three years, you can’t really charge for paint because that’s normal wear and tear. But if the tenant was only there for a year and you have to repaint the whole house, you can prorate those costs.
These are some of the tips and tricks for the tenant move out process. If you don’t want to deal with these headaches, let a Modesto area property management company take care of it for you. That’s why we’re here. Please contact us at New Bridge Management, we service Modesto, Patterson, Turlock and the greater Stanislaus County areas.