Tenant Education

15 Replies

I've heard @Joshua Dorkin  and Brandon Turner mention in the podcast... and I've seen a couple forum posts talking about it... BUT I can't seem to find any good examples in the FilePlace.

Anybody willing to share (or help me find) their documents, presentation material, list of rules, etc. that goes into your tenant education??  I plan on using the TAR promulgated residential lease, but don't really have any additional rules/education material.

I will have purchased my first rental by the end of the month, and hope to have it rented soon after (after some repairs).  In preparation for this, I am trying to develop a 'tenant package'.  ANY input would be greatly appreciated!!

I wrote my own lease and it is 5 pages. Every opportunity I get to read someone's lease, I take a look and see if there is anything in there I need. My lease is court tested and approved. I tell the tenants that the lease up will take about 1 hour. I probably mention 'judge' and 'eviction' no less than 20 times during the conversation. I want them to know exactly what I expect and exactly who they will get an opportunity to meet if they step outside of those rules. 

@Josh Autery  We tell our tenants to plan on two hours for the move-in process. This allows us time to thoroughly read the lease together and talk about it as we go, adding examples and stories to emphasize points. It also allows time for us to demonstrate how to use the appliances and other features in the home. Then we do our move-in check list, taking photos as we go. By the time we are done, they have received quite a bit of education.  It doesn't stop there, because we will be checking up on them in short order and reemphasizing the terms of the agreement over time.

@Josh Autery  

 I provide my tenants with a "tenant handbook" at lease signing. It contains things that are necessary in my area, like lead paint inspection certificate and accompanying informational documents, informational brochures on fire safety, care of septic systems, bed bugs, etc. I also include a list of area companies that provide electric, trash service, cable, internet and other utilities, so all the numbers they need to set things up are in one place. The handbook also contains my contact info, a "Move Out Checklist" for what cleaning is expected of them before they move out, and they can keep a copy of the lease in there as well. I package it all up in a nice 3-ring binder and tell them that it has to stay in the unit at all times and must be left on the counter when they leave. I clip all of the appliance and thermostat manuals together and leave them with the book.

One thing I still want to do is make up a list of "House Rules", a list that clearly defines some of the main tenant requirements from the lease, but in a summarized, easy-to-read format.

(Side Tip) I print two copies of the lease, mark one "Original" and one "Copy" and have them sign and initial both sets. This way I can just leave the "Copy" with them.

If you would like to message me your email I can send you some of the things I have. Most I got from Google searches.

@Marcia Maynard  

Thanks for the input!! Your proactive move in checklist with pictures is interesting... It seems like most landlords leave this mostly in the tenant's hands. I can see where your tenant not returning the move in condition may benefit the landlord, but I think yours is a more upstanding and fair route to take.

@Beth L.  

I will definitely message you my email... Any and all input can be learned from! 

I really like your idea of a handbook that stays with the property. I realize that probably doesn't always happen, but it seems to enforce the idea of knowing the info and having it handy... What do you do when your manuals or handbook disappear?

oh and btw... 

@Matt R.  

I definitely agree that lease agreements are broken too often... But I'd place most of the fault with careless landlords. As we've heard multiple times on the podcasts, "educating your tenants on how to be GOOD tenants (I.e. Not breaking any part of the agreement) is the landlord's job."  Many times I think the tenants just don't know better. 

In short, I want to be a consistent, careful, attentive landlord.

@Josh Autery  

 I haven't had a handbook disappear yet, but if it did, I would just make up another one. By law, the tenant must keep the lead paint inspection certificate in the unit, so I really emphasize that.

Thanks for posting to the house rules article. I will utilize it for sure!

I accepted your colleague request :-) 

Originally posted by @Steven Kleppin :

@Marcia Maynard do you self-manage? I would love it if my PM did something that thorough.

Yes. We own and manage our own properties. 20 years experience and 16 units now. Take a listen to BP Podcast #83 where I share some of our investment strategies and landlording tips!