The Property Manager’s Tenant Checklist

As a property manager, you recognize how important it is to keep tabs on every building or multifamily property under your supervision. But the process starts long before anyone moves into your property. From the initial rental to the day a tenant moves out, take note of how to handle the entire process with this property management checklist.

Have you had any luck attracting tenants? Is your property well-maintained? Use this checklist to help you manage the properties under your care. Click To Tweet

Property Management Checklist

As the backbone of the rental industry, tenants want an excellent property at a good price and with a reasonable landlord. Consequently, the majority of your job as a property manager will center around attracting new tenants and keeping current renters satisfied. The process of the tenant-renter relationship will generally progress as follows:

  1. Attracting new tenants
  2. Tenant screening
  3. Retention
  4. Tenant departure

1) Attracting New Tenants

Where and how do you advertise a vacant property? Hanging a “For Rent” sign in the window of an empty storefront or putting signs outside an apartment complex certainly catches a passerby’s attention, but won’t necessarily leave an impression. The vast majority of tenants begin their search online. Advertise your properties on the internet with high-quality photos of the interior and exterior of your space. A potential renter who finds your post interesting will reach out to you.

2) Tenant Screening

It’s a bad practice to rent a property to just anyone who asks. Basic screening with the use of rental applications and background checks will ensure the protection of your property. Can the interested party pay rent? Do they have a good history with previous landlords and employers? Most importantly, have they ever been evicted from previous rentals? Answering these questions will help you determine if renting to potential tenants is worthwhile.

Pro Tip: If you choose to check a potential renter’s credit history, don’t neglect to review the laws in your city and state There are often strict credit reporting guidelines that should be observed.

3) Retention

Once you’ve approved a tenant and they’ve moved in, it’s time to keep them happy in their new location and encourage them to stay. Keep the property maintained and appealing. More importantly, be sure to allow open communication between your management staff and the renters. If there is an issue, there should be clear expectations for the tenant and how you’ve agreed to respond. That being said, keep detailed records of every payment and agreement between you and your tenant. While you may never need it, it’s always better to have a paper trail of your communication.

4) Tenant Departure

Undoubtedly, no tenant will stay with your property forever. Store locations close or residents move. When a tenant approaches you about leaving, work with them to complete any and all necessary move-out paperwork or other lease agreements. Be sure to document the state of the property in its’ current state. Has any damage occurred beyond reasonable wear and tear? If so, your tenant should be aware if they should be held financially responsible. The sooner you know what work or cleaning needs to be done, the quicker you can finish everything and rent the space out to a new tenant.

Additionally, don’t forget to refund the tenant’s security deposit! Even deductions occurred for repairs or property maintenance, your tenant is entitled to the amount that was agreed upon. Obtain the tenant’s contact information to process their refund without any delays.

Maintaining a Good Relationship with Your Tenants

Ultimately, the burden of satisfying your tenants and encouraging them to stay rests on you as the property manager. If you demonstrate excellent communication skills and manage your properties effectively, many tenants will be happy with the services you provide and will gladly renew their leases. Keep this property management checklist close to ensure you’ve done everything you can to keep your tenants satisfied.

Connect with us to learn more about the process of managing properties and attracting prospective tenants.

Perform a Background Check on Your Landlord Before You Rent

Anyone who has ever rented an apartment or other residential property knows there are plenty of hoops to jump through. From utility arrangements to proof of income, you have to provide the landlord with a good deal of information. However, an application is a two-way street of communication, or at least it should be. Have you considered running a landlord background check?

While your landlord’s history may not be one of the questions on your mind as you contemplate where to rent, it’s nonetheless an important piece of information to try and discover. Remember, you’ll be renting from them for the foreseeable future–it’s only fair that you’re given the chance to make sure you can trust them. Let’s look at a few ways to perform a simple landlord background check.

Have you performed a background check on your potential landlord? Here’s how to do it before putting down money on a rental property. Click To Tweet

Google the Landlord and Property Management Company

This is probably the easiest and simplest method of running a cursory background check: just put your landlord’s name and their property management company into Google. (You may want to Google the property address as well.) What kind of results come up? Do the reviews of the property and landlord alike reflect a good reputation? Of course, it’s good to exercise some skepticism when using Google for something this detailed, but what you find will be a good indicator of what else you might learn.

Pro Tip: Your future landlord asks you plenty of questions during the first meeting. It’s only fair for you to bring some questions of your own: ask them to explain a string of bad reviews, ask if they live on the property or elsewhere, etc.

Talk to the Neighbors

Set aside some time to talk with your future neighbors without the landlord present. Tell them you’re thinking of moving there and see how they feel about the property. Does the landlord handle complaints and maintenance requests well? Do the residents enjoy living there? Additionally, ask if any residents have renewed their leases–that’s an excellent sign that the property is a great place to live.

Find Public Records

It may not be your first thought, but if your landlord has taken legal action against a tenant (or been sued themselves), those records are permanent and generally available. See if you can find anything with the property manager’s name on it. If you do, what kind of legal case is it? An eviction, small claims settlement, foreclosure, or evidence of illegal activity should throw up a massive red flag immediately.

Find a Landlord You Can Trust

Running a landlord background check may seem a little odd and invasive, but it’s your right as a future tenant. If the landlord is allowed to check your background and credit history, it’s only fair that you also feel confident that you can trust them. 

Connect with us to speak to an expert team of property managers and learn what to expect when meeting a landlord.