How to prepare for new tenants

How to prepare for new tenants

Great news, you’ve found new tenants and in a few days they’ll be moving in, so what should you do to prepare for their arrival?  Use this time to make sure you’ve got the last few bits of paperwork and admin sorted and check that the property is completely ready.

Rent and Deposit

Make sure the tenants are aware that you must have the first month’s rent and any deposit you’ve requested in cleared funds before you can give them the keys. Essentially this means they’ll have to make a bank transfer from their account directly to your bank account, or they should bring you cash or a banker’s draft.

If they’re going to pay by bank transfer, make sure they’ve got your bank account number and sort code. Many landlords don’t accept cheques as these can bounce if the tenant doesn’t have sufficient funds in their account but you might not find out until after they’ve moved in.

For landlords who manage their properties on a day-to-day basis, but who want to leave the financial management of rent collection to the agent, we offer a Rent Collection Service at Martin & Co. One of any landlord's biggest worries is non-payment of rent, so with our Rent Collection Service we will eliminate that worry by collecting and chasing up late payment. We will also offer you support from marketing to insuring your property.

Final Property Check

Now is a good time to walk through the property and make sure everything is as it should be. Check that appliances are in full working order, make sure there are no loose handles on doors and cupboards (take a screwdriver just in case), and that there are no loose carpets, wonky pieces of furniture or anything else out of order.

If you don’t have operating instructions for any appliances, such as boilers and washing machines, try to get copies from the internet and print them out for the tenants, or at least pull together a list of websites for your tenants where the information can easily be obtained.

If you’re managing the property yourself, make sure you’ve got an up-to-date gas safety record.  If not you’ll need to arrange a visit from a Gas Safe-registered engineer to check all gas appliances and flues. Martin & Co can arrange this for you if necessary. The engineer will issue you with two copies of a gas safety record, one of which you must give to the tenant on the day they move in, if not before.

Check safety devices such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers and blankets if you have provided them. Make sure any security alarms are in working order and that you’ve got the codes written down for the tenant.  You’ll need to provide the access code for wi-fi where provided too.

If you’re going to get the property professionally cleaned before the start of the tenancy (always a good idea to avoid any dispute with the tenant over the level of cleanliness when they move in), make sure you’ve booked in the cleaners and give them a checklist of tasks not to miss, such as wiping inside appliances and descaling taps.

Many cleaners won’t clean the outside of windows so book a window cleaner and make sure you get carpets cleaned too.  Make sure this is all noted and ready to explain to the tenant when they move in, as it will help reduce any disputes about the condition of the property when the tenants move out at the end of the tenancy.

Check you’ve got the keys for all the locks and that you’ve also got your own copies in case they get lost. Some landlords change external door locks between tenancies for security reasons, but others don’t bother.

You should already have an inventory of your property and all of its contents, but if not arrange one as soon as the property is ‘set’ and ready for the new tenants.  Martin & Co can also arrange this for you.  Consider using a professional independent inventory company, as they should provide a thorough, detailed and unbiased report of the property and contents, and should take a good selection of photographs to demonstrate the condition at the start of the tenancy.  It will normally take a few days for the inventory to be recorded and sent back to you, so give yourself plenty of time to look through the report to pick out any errors and to put right any identified faults with the property before move in day.

Once you’ve got an inventory you can arrange for a check-in report on the day the tenants move in.

Then you just need to arrange with your tenants a date and time to meet at the property to hand over the keys and settle them in.  Make sure they agree to the inventory (with a signature) and make sure all keys handed over are noted, and all meter readings taken and photographed.

Then you’re all set!  And your tenants can get on with moving into their lovely new home...