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7 things to do before a new residential tenant moves in

By Greg Bell

As a landlord renting out a residential space, whether it's a small apartment or entire house, you need to make sure your new tenants will love the property and don't encounter any problems when they move in. However, that takes a lot of prep work, and if you're not extremely attentive, some issues may slip through the cracks, getting the owner-tenant relationship off on the wrong foot.

To avoid such an issue, a few pre-move inspections will go a long way, and ensure none of you encounter any problems in the early going. The following are just a few examples of what you should do:

1) Do one last check for any damage

First and foremost, you need to make sure every square inch of the floors, walls and ceilings are in good shape, and the same goes for any appliances, systems and fixtures in the home. The Balance Small Business notes that even small issues can be not just a cosmetic problem, but also a safety issue, and that will likely be a big no-no in the eyes of a new tenant. Fix all the issues you discover right away.

2) Make sure all systems work as intended

Again, you need to make sure the systems that make a home livable — HVAC, water heating, etc. — are in good working order. In most cases, they probably are, but if you test them and find they aren't quite performing as you would like, maintenance or even replacement might be a good strategy.

3) Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Your tenants' safety should be your No. 1 concern as a landlord, and any smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in the home should, at the very least, be tested and have their batteries replaced. Lawyers.com advises that it's also good to let tenants know where all these detectors are, as this can be a big help in an emergency.

4) Do a video walk-through

You never know what a tenant might try to claim is wrong with the home, so it's a good idea to record as much of it as you can on your phone, before they move in. That way, if there is a dispute about the condition of a bath tub or a closet wall, you can look at the video and see whether the problem just slipped your attention initially.

5) Clean even the areas you can't see easily

Along similar lines, it's important to make sure your deep clean of the whole space includes every nook and cranny, according to Mynd Management. That not only makes sure the home is as presentable as possible; it also helps you spot potential problems.

6) Check the locks and security systems

Security should be a priority as well, so making sure your locks, alarms, video systems and so on are all in good working order and that tenants know how to use them properly is always a good idea. A quick test is probably all you need to be reassured you're in the clear.

7) Make sure your tenant has all the appropriate contact info

Finally, it's important to leave proper information about how to get in touch with you, your property manager, preferred repair technicians and so on in the event of emergency. That way, tenants always know where to turn.

When you're looking to expand your residential property portfolio, or just get it started, it helps to have the experts on your side. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we've closed countless real estate deals and left our clients more than happy with the results. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you as well.

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