What Should Be in Your Tenant Move-In Package
When a new tenant moves in, what do you give them? If the only thing you hand over is a key and a signed copy of the lease, you’re missing out on a few opportunities. A move-in package puts both you and your tenant on the same page, makes a good impression, and fosters good will between you. You also open the door to good communication and making sure there are no questions about how things will work going forward.
Here are just a few things to include in your new tenant move-in package.
Do some of the rules in the COA or HOA relax on move-in day? Is there special parking that can be used while the moving truck is in the driveway? Make sure your tenants have information about anything specific they need to know for the day they move in. This should also include an explanation of what the rules typically are after they get moved in.
You likely explained this to your tenants at the very beginning, but include payment information in your move-in package. Exactly how much is rent and how can your tenants pay? Give them all their options for payment -- mail in, online, or drop off -- and don’t forget to give them the due date. Yes, you’ve told them this before, but it’s good to repeat yourself. Also, remind them what the late payment penalties will be.
Copy of the Lease
This should be the signed and dated copy so there’s no question that you both agreed to the current lease. Feel free to highlight any information, including specific rules, that your tenants need to be aware of. Even better, add separate pages of specific policies: late payment, pet policy, changes to the property, etc.
Codes, Parking, and Utility Information
Is there a code to the garage or the front door? Will people be allowed to park on the street (if the driveway isn’t very big or is non-existent)? What companies handle utilities in the area? Sure, they turned the lights on and have water, but what about cable or internet service? You’ll help your tenants in a big way by making sure they have all of this information in one place.
Make sure your tenants know exactly how maintenance requests and notification of problems will be handled. Can your tenant make changes with your approval? Are they allowed to paint only certain rooms on the property? What’s the process to request a fix that’s not an emergency? What happens if something breaks? Put all of this information in one place for your tenants.
Your tenants may not contact you very often, but they need to know how to reach you. When a pipe bursts, you don’t want your tenants to waste time searching for your number. Share all the ways you can be contacted so that whenever they need you, they can get you.
Renters Insurance Info
If you didn’t require proof of renters insurance as part of the lease agreement (something to consider!), provide info on insurance options in the move-in package. Remind your tenants that in a big accident, their belongings will only be covered by renters insurance. Give them a list of local insurance companies who can help them and let them know that renters insurance is much less expensive than standard homeowner’s insurance.
By no means mandatory, a small gift -- a gift card to a local restaurant, a houseplant, etc. -- is a great way to make your tenants feel appreciated and welcome. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a big impact. Your tenants will likely be shocked to receive anything (as it’s not a common thing), and you’ll begin your landlord/tenant relationship from a positive place.
Your new tenant move-in package doesn’t have to be big and fancy. It doesn’t even have to be a physical thing. Yes, you can print out the information and put it in a binder to hand to your tenants. Alternatively, you can put it together as a PDF and email it to your tenants or upload the documents to a folder in the cloud and share it with them. The good thing about sharing it digitally is that the documents can easily be updated as time goes by.
If the idea of a move-in package sounds overwhelming, working with property management professionals who can help you put one together for your tenants. At ERA American Real Estate, we make sure your tenants have all the information they need from the day they move in until the day they move out. Contact us today and let us help you manage your rental properties.