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Tenant Orientation: A Handy Checklist for Landlords

Turnovers can be stressful. You see to current tenants who move-out and conduct a new tenant orientation again. It can be tempting to hand over the keys right away, collect the payment and contract, and go on with your day. In this article, we talk about why it's valuable to your business to conduct a tenant orientation and share tips on how to do it.

Why Conduct a Tenant Orientation?

If you think it’s a mere hassle, here are things that can make you think twice about how you welcome new tenants:

  • This could be their first orientation of this kind of housing.
  • One cannot assume tenants know all your rules.
  • Rental and landlord rules are not all the same, even in the same state.
  • It helps build a landlord-tenant relationship.
  • It can increase tenant retention.
  • It can save money on preventable damages, lawsuits, and turnovers.
  • It helps tenants stay safe in the building.
  • It encourages tenants to observe the rules.

Tips for New Tenant Orientation

With those in mind, here are some things you need to know when orienting new tenants:

1. Schedule a move-in date for new tenants

They may move in on the same day as the move-out date of the existing tenants. You can schedule for painting and repairs within their first week. If possible, give time between the turnover for cleaning, renovations, and repairs.

2. Conduct thorough inspections

Have a professional check of your rental's heating, plumbing, electric, smoke, fire, and safety features. Professional cleaning services are also called for. Consider taking photos or videos of the unit as proof of the state of the unit at turnover.

<<Read more: Tips for Carrying Out a Rental Property Inspection>>

3. Make it personal

We recommend conducting tenant orientation individually instead of in a group. It is also best to do it in person rather than through videos or in writing. Although, you should make it clear in writing too. Conduct the orientation at move-in so you can show new tenants how things work and what to avoid.

4. Show enthusiasm during the orientation

No matter how many times you've done this before or it's been years since you did it, don't sound bored or irritated. If you want to decrease tenant turnovers, do your best to be a great landlord. Sure, quality tenants and longer leases help too. 

5. Be consistent with all new tenant orientations

Consistency helps avoid tenant discrimination. It helps to follow a script and have a template for a welcome letter. Also, consider giving a small gift like a gift card or a welcome basket. Finally, see to their requests such as appliances or changes for a disability.

What to Discuss During Tenant Orientation?

Here are the important things your tenants will need to know:

  • Lease Terms and Agreements
  • Rent and security deposit
  • Payment terms for rent and utilities (consider giving an option to do these online)
  • Keys, mail, parking
  • Rules about guests, pets, smoking, laundry, and trash removal
  • How to use appliances and utilities
  • Show where the main electric panel and main water shut-off valve are and how they work
  • Process for requesting maintenance and repair
  • What to do during emergencies
  • Notification for routine landlord inspection
  • Neighborhood guidance
  • Contact number and hours

Final Words

Save yourself from miscommunications and wrong assumptions by setting your expectations. Start on the right foot by showing up on the move-in day and giving tenants a hands-on tour of the unit. End with a welcome letter, a gift, and your contact number. If you do it right, you shouldn't be expecting a call anytime soon!

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!