10 Things You Should Do Before Your First Move-In
Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, wants its clients to be protected. We have put together a list to help you remember what you should be doing to prepare for your first move-in. Always remember, that maintaining good and professional relationships with your tenants can help you down the line.
- Purchase general liability insurance. A comprehensive landlord insurance policy will protect you from out-of-pocket financial responsibility for any losses, damage, or injury that occurs on your property. Protection typically ranges from fire and vandalism damage, to injuries or losses suffered by tenants or visitors on your property.
- Switch over utility bills. Put the utilities in your name and make sure they are turned on before the property is shown and occupied. Marketing a rental unit without power does not usually go well. Once the unit is rented out, the utilities can be switched to your tenant’s name.
- Call the tax collector. You want to make sure that your tax and water bills are sent to your correct address so that you don’t miss a payment and end up with interest charges, late fees, or a lien on your property.
- Service the rental property. Make sure that the rental property and appliances are properly repaired and in good working order. Ignoring repair and maintenance will cost you more in the long run and you may be violating the law if you fail to provide habitable rental property.
- Pay special attention to water heaters and oil tanks. Have your water heaters tested and cleaned regularly, if this falls within a vacancy period or not.
- Buy new appliances if necessary. A full set of appliances is a great marketing point for any rentals, especially if they are new. Plus, there are some great energy-saving models available nowadays. Although new appliances are not necessary, appliances should be in good working order before anyone moves in.
- Connect with current tenants. If you have just purchased your rental property and a have a good tenant that occupies the property, it is best to continue that relationship. You should also get all records, especially tenancy and maintenance documents, from the previous owner of your new rental property.
- Organize good record-keeping systems. Keep track of all information relevant to owning and managing your rental property, such as a general ledger of all rents paid and owed, tenant complaints, and tax deductions available for landlords.
- Learn about Landlord-Tenant laws. California State Law covers every aspect of renting a property, including choosing tenants, the standards of habitable living, collecting and using security deposits, and more. If an issue arises, consult with an experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.
- If necessary, contact an agent to list your property for rent. You may be able to handle the unit marketing and tenant screening on your own and save yourself money. But you’ll also have to spend time showing the property and running tenant background and credit checks. Whatever you choose, make sure to have clear and legally accurate rental agreements ready when you do find a suitable tenant.
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