If you are a landlord, you know how difficult it is to find good tenants. Once you do find a good one and everyone has signed the proper paperwork for their apartment, it’s time to schedule move-in day. Think of this as the official start to the landlord-tenant relationship, setting the stage for a profitable and seamless tenancy for many months or years to come (with any luck!)
So how can you do your part to help your tenants experience a smooth move-in day in Orange County? The key is to plan it all out ahead of time with all your staff and stay in constant communication with your residents and tenants, whether your apartment is located in Laguna Beach, Santa Ana or Irvine.
Prior to Move-In Day
Sign all lease agreements. Moving time is precious, and your new tenants are likely excited to start their new journey. Paperwork is boring and tedious, but highly necessary. Make sure to call the tenants a few weeks or at least a few days ahead of moving day so all paperwork is signed and ready to go.
Set-up utilities. You don’t want to get stuck with the utility bills because your tenants neglected to set up their account. Send them reminders to ensure they set up their electric, gas, trash and water accounts in time for the official lease start date – in their name.
Tell tenants about parking restrictions. Tell your tenants about what parking restrictions exist so they can avoid tickets and tows. This will also help the movers plan their arrival and departure accordingly, says Rentec Direct.
Advise Tenants of Move-in Day Instructions: Be sure to include information regarding the following:
- Date, time and location of where they can pick up their keys
- Property Rules
- Moving Day Rules
- Move-In Inspection Requirements
On Move-In Day
Be on time to drop off the key to your tenants. Punctuality gives a good first impression and goes a long way toward establishing a strong relationship with your new tenants. Remember, they’ll be eager to get into their new apartment and start moving stuff in, so don’t start the process with tardiness.
Remind tenants about those parking restrictions. They may have forgotten about the parking rules you set for them earlier, so take this time to remind them. This will help avoid a parking ticket or tow, and will allow the movers to safely access the building for unloading.
Send a New Tenant Welcome Kit. Moving day is stressful and hectic. Why not leave them a welcome kit in their unit? It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a basket of a few small household items can make a big difference. You could include a bottle of sanitizing wipes, small pack of toilet paper, paper towel roll, hand soap or even some bottled water and snacks. If you know the tenants personally or you want to make a really good impression, leave them a gift card to a local pizza joint.
Leave New Tenant Welcome Paperwork. It’s important to ensure your tenants know everything about your property and what you expect from them. You may have already outlined your property rules during the lease signing process, but it’s helpful to leave a single sheet of clear property rules on the table in their apartment. This should include key points, such as:
- Your contact information
- How to pay rent (when and where, due dates, etc.)
- How they should submit maintenance requests
- How they can access their tenant portal
- Rules about how they can personalize their property
- Service and maintenance days
- Property rules
Move-In Inspection. Each lease term should start with a move-in inspection to document the property condition at the beginning of tenancy. This will provide a dated reference if there is ever damage done to the property. These checklists will give you an easy way to rate the condition of the property as a whole as well as individual parts of it. After the inspection, have your tenants sign and date it to show they agree with the results.
After Move-In Day
- Check in with your tenants, ask how it’s going, and see if they need anything.
- Throw a mixer or “meet the neighbors” party to foster a sense of community, encourage friendships and reiterate safety.
Other Factors to Consider For a Seamless Moving Day
Waste Management. If you are the landlord of a multifamily property with multiple leases that begin on the same day, you may want to request additional garbage bins to keep all that moving-day trash in check.
Elevator Maintenance. If you have an elevator in your building, set up clear guidelines about when tenants can use the elevators for moving in, as well as what items are allowed or not allowed in the elevator on moving day. You’ll probably want to restrict elevator use for moving needs so you don’t disrupt the regular routines of your existing tenants. Sometimes, elevators in older buildings can’t handle the additional heavy weight of appliances and furniture, or even the constant opening and closing of doors all day long. In these cases, you may want to prohibit the new tenants from using your elevators on moving day.
Security Management Plan: New renters usually bring help on moving day. While good for them, this means there will be many people on your property that you don’t know. The safety of your current tenants is a priority, so post reminders around the property about rules regarding buzzing in strangers or propping open doors. It may be a good idea to hire a temporary security officer if you have one general move-in day a month for new tenants.
Move-in day is an exciting time for your tenants and you as well, marking a fresh start for both of you. Make sure it goes smoothly by setting up rules beforehand, staying in constant contact, and extending a warm welcome to start things off on the right foot.
Contact Best Fit Movers
If you’re a landlord of an apartment complex and want to partner with a trusted moving company you can recommend to future tenants OR if you’re a tenant facing a new apartment move-in yourself, call us for a free quote at 858-285-4534.