Landlord Resource Center

You've accepted a Tenant. Now what?

Lease Finalization Checklist

Moving out of your home and finding a renter is a significant step, but there are several important tasks and responsibilities that follow to ensure a smooth transition and successful rental arrangement. Here’s a detailed guide on what to do next:


Finalize the Rental Agreement:

    • Draft a comprehensive lease agreement.
    • Cover terms such as rent amount, due date, security deposit, lease duration, maintenance responsibilities, and house rules.
    • Ensure both parties read and understand the lease before signing.
    • Check local laws and regulations regarding rental properties.
    • Consider having a lawyer review the lease agreement.

  • Conduct a Move-In Inspection:

    • Perform a pre-move-in walkthrough with the tenant.
    • Document the condition of the property with photos and written notes.
    • Use an inspection checklist to cover all aspects of the property (plumbing, electrical, appliances, cleanliness).
    • Have both parties sign the inspection report.

  • Set Up Rent Collection:

    • Decide on the method of rent collection (bank transfer, online payment services, checks).
    • Inform the tenant about the payment schedule and any late fees.
    • Consider using property management software to automate rent collection and track payments.

  • Address Maintenance and Repairs:

    • Establish a routine maintenance schedule (HVAC servicing, pest control).
    • Provide the tenant with contact information for emergency repairs.
    • Clearly outline maintenance responsibilities in the lease.

  • Create a Communication Plan:

    • Share your contact details and preferred communication method with the tenant.
    • Obtain the tenant’s contact information for emergencies.
    • Schedule regular check-ins to address any concerns and maintain a good relationship.

  • Update Your Insurance:

    • Switch from homeowner’s insurance to landlord insurance.
    • Encourage or require the tenant to obtain renter’s insurance.

  • Manage Finances:

    • Track income and expenses accurately for tax purposes.
    • Use accounting software designed for rental property management.
    • Understand the tax implications of rental income and allowable deductions.
    • Consult a tax professional for compliance and tax optimization.

  • Prepare for Potential Issues:

    • Familiarize yourself with local eviction laws and procedures.
    • Develop a plan for handling disputes or conflicts with the tenant.

  • Engage in Ongoing Property Management:

    • Schedule periodic property inspections.
    • Provide advance notice to the tenant for inspections.
    • Plan for future improvements or upgrades to maintain property value.

Successfully renting out your property involves careful planning and ongoing management. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition for both you and your tenant, protect your investment, and create a positive rental experience. If you need more detailed guidance on any of these steps or have specific questions, feel free to ask!

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Timothy Powles and Adam Stanley work together on the Adam Timothy Group at Compass RA and manage AT Real Estate Group LLC, a rental and vacation property investment business. We are about building community. We believe a real estate transaction is an important and extremely significant event but relationships last a lifetime. Our clients, partners, and friends trust us to get to know their story and what is most important to them.  And we work tirelessly to retain that trust.



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