When a tenant leaves, what do you need to do to prepare for the next tenant? If you’re a new landlord, or even if you’re more experienced, this handy apartment turnover checklist will make sure that nothing gets overlooked.
As soon as you know you’re going to have a vacancy, start lining up potential tenants. An empty apartment isn’t generating income, so have a new tenant lined up before the old one moves out if you can.
Perform an in-depth inspection
Do a thorough walk-through of the apartment. Test everything: flip the switches, turn the faucets, open the windows, look for wear and tear and other damages. Use your records to determine any repairs that can be deducted from the previous renter’s security deposit. The renter doesn’t have to attend the walk-through; make sure you document everything with photos, video and extensive notes.
If the tenant left behind any personal property, make every effort to contact the tenant if they’ve left the premises and hold onto it at least 30 days before selling or discarding it.
Schedule repairs and maintenance
Line up vendors and staff to perform repairs, repaint, replace, whatever is necessary. Keep receipts for everything; they’ll be especially helpful for anything you charge against the previous tenant’s security deposit. Don’t forget to check smoke and CO2 detectors. This is also an excellent time to make any needed renovations or to update older appliances.
Clean, clean, clean
Now is the time for a deep clean, either on your own or by a professional cleaning service. A deep clean means walls and ceilings, shampooing rugs, cleaning inside closets, cabinets, and storage areas, and making sure everything is spotless.
Potential tenants will almost certainly want a tour before they sign a lease. It’s up to you whether you coordinate with your tenant and schedule tours while the unit is still occupied or if you wait until it’s empty. Ideally, you want a new tenant ready to move in as soon as the unit is ready.
Change the keys
Make sure the former tenant cannot gain access to the unit by rekeying or changing locks, replacing codes, etc.
Do one final walk-through
Immediately before a new tenant moves in, do one more inspection. Take photos, record video, and make notes to document the unit’s condition. You don’t want a tenant to dispute damage later and say, “It was like that when I moved in.”
Create a schedule
Above all, set up a schedule, so you know what will be done, when it will be done, and who’s responsible. Use this apartment turnover checklist to make sure nothing is overlooked.