More Efficient Tenant Turnover

3 Replies

Hi Bigger Pockets!

I am just curious what processes/tips some of you landlords might have to be more efficient with Tenant Move In/Move Out? Not only that but do you have tips for avoiding conflict after Move Out as I feel like there are always some complaints from the Move Out tenant on cleaning and repair charges even when they are extremely obvious.

Currently the process is:

-Tenant Moves in and completes a Move In Checklist (Usually they do a pretty vague job as well to be honest)

-We have to coordinate getting the Move In Checklist back either by going and picking it up or having them come meet us.

-At End of Lease, we send Tenant Move Out Checklist which they may or may not complete

-I go walk the property, trying to comprehend the vague move in checklist, take photos and notes of the current state of everything

-I get quotes for repairs, get cleaning done, then write a move out report explaining if/how much of their deposit we are deducting and send it to them

-They ultimately call or email and complain that I am treating them unfairly despite photo evidence of messes/damages they left and quotes explaining clearly showing the reparation costs.


Over all this process takes a hand full of hours and I feel like their must be a more efficient way!

Any tips? Or am I alone on this one?

For our properties we have a single page cost sheet that they sign that tells them how much things will be if they damage something when they move out. It covers all common things such as burnt out light bulbs, holes in walls, holes in doors, broken appliances, carpet stains, broken fixtures, and so on.

That way the tenant knows exactly what they will be charged when they move out (before they even move in). With this method you can have all those difficult conversations up front of "why does fixing sheet rock cost $20 per sq/in?!?". 

Here are some cost breakdowns that we charge based out of Springfield MO:

  • Window Blind (L/M/Wand) 60/40/8
  • Toilet Seat 35
  • Painting 1 room 150
  • Painting 1 room ceiling 105
  • Light Bulb 5
  • Smoke Alarm 75
  • Drywall 40 per 4 sq/in

If you don't know exactly what it will be then estimate high and then if you end up getting it done for less the ex-tenant will be happy to hear that they get more money back then they thought. 

I often fill in the Move-In checklist with them and have them sign it, when I turn over the keys.  I think I also have language in my lease that, if they find any defects upon move-in, they have 5 calendar days to inform me.  In a nutshell, the onus is on them to inform me about any issues.  If a kitchen cabinet is missing a door knob and it's not noted/I'm not told about it at move-in, than it becomes "their" missing door knob.

I supply a Move-Out checklist as a courtesy and reminder of what is expected.  I don't expect or even ask that they turn it back in to me.  I often don't do move-out inspections with the tenant there.  But when I do, I also don't ask them to sign the Move-Out checklist.  I tell them what the defects are.  But I'm careful with my wording that I'm not binding myself to that being all that might be wrong or that the damages found will cost XYZ.  If something is deducted from the security deposit, I provide receipts if that is requested.  I'd respond the first time to a dispute about the charges but, after that, they are what they are.  I don't engage in continued communication where each person ends up just repeating themselves multiple times.  

Originally posted by @Jennifer T. :

I often fill in the Move-In checklist with them and have them sign it, when I turn over the keys.  I think I also have language in my lease that, if they find any defects upon move-in, they have 5 calendar days to inform me.  In a nutshell, the onus is on them to inform me about any issues.  If a kitchen cabinet is missing a door knob and it's not noted/I'm not told about it at move-in, than it becomes "their" missing door knob.

I supply a Move-Out checklist as a courtesy and reminder of what is expected.  I don't expect or even ask that they turn it back in to me.  I often don't do move-out inspections with the tenant there.  But when I do, I also don't ask them to sign the Move-Out checklist.  I tell them what the defects are.  But I'm careful with my wording that I'm not binding myself to that being all that might be wrong or that the damages found will cost XYZ.  If something is deducted from the security deposit, I provide receipts if that is requested.  I'd respond the first time to a dispute about the charges but, after that, they are what they are.  I don't engage in continued communication where each person ends up just repeating themselves multiple times.  

Practically identical process...more of a suspenders to her belt approach tho.  I have a real estate agent who does the final move out inspection with me.  Tenant can be there if they want, most don't show.  All damages are recorded on the Move In form I use to be a complete 'compared to' document.  If the tenant missed the time frame to return the signed Move In with their annotations, then the condition is noted as 'perfect' for that.  If they return it with notations at the move in, I come back and we decided if and how fixes will happen, and that's noted and initialed.  At move out after keys have been returned, I do a walk through with my agent, who signs it as witness in addition to my signature.  This is for my records in case we end up in court.  It's never failed me.  Additionally, I require via lease language that any photographs or video of the property done by the tenant upon move in must be copied and forwarded to me to be included in their 'file'.  Failure to do that precludes any opportunity for them to show up as evidence.  Judges like that stuff....it protects the position of the one telling the truth as opposed to after the fact 'statements' of condition and so forth.

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