Signing a new lease is an exciting event for your potential tenants. However, that excitement can fade pretty quickly if they feel as though they are being surprised with additional costs and unknown inconveniences after signing (even if these items are clearly covered in the lease agreement). Covering these specific items with your new renters will build trust while helping you avoid unpleasant conversations in the future. Plus, it never hurts to over-explain a few things when it comes to your real estate investments.
1) The Lease Term
Make sure your tenant fully understands the lease term. It starts on a very specific date and ends on a very specific date. If the move-in or move-out date needs to change due to life circumstances, then the date on the lease agreement needs to change (after discussions and negotiations). Always take some time to make sure everyone is on the same page about the lease term.
2) Maintenance and Repair Procedures
When something breaks, it pays off to educate your tenants on how to get in touch with you for a repair. This will hopefully build even more trust, but it will help to keep your property in good shape if your tenant doesn’t let maintenance issues go unfixed. Giving them a seamless process to follow will be highly appreciated, and it will keep your rental property in top-notch condition.
3) Describe and Define the Move-In Fees
It might seem simple to you that the move-in fees include the first month’s rent, security deposit, parking fees, and a pet deposit – but you’d be surprised. Going over all of the initial move-in fees and making it crystal clear for your tenant is never a bad idea.
4) The Parking Situation
Speaking of parking, it’s important to go over the specifics of the parking situation for your new tenants. If the parking requires city permits, go over this with your tenant (you can even educate them on where/how to purchase said permits). If they only get one spot for each room, go over those details with them. Discuss the implications of not following the rules, such as towing, additional costs, lease termination, and more. Of course, if this is a commercial rental, it becomes even more important as parking for business can become a very impactful issue.
5) Late Fee Policy Details
Not all landlords have the same late fee policy, so it is important to go over the policy details with the potential new tenant. Be very clear about any associated fees if the rent payment has not been received by the date on the lease agreement. Be very clear, and be sure to communicate that the late fees (if you have them) are strictly enforced. You might even want to say this a couple of times to drive the point home.
6) How to Pay Rent
How a tenant pays rent can vary from landlord to landlord. Some ask for checks, some offer online payment portals, some send an invoice with a payment coupon (while some don’t) – so it is an important detail that is often overlooked. Go over your particular rental payment procedures with the potential tenant so there is no confusion.
7) Appliance Details and More
Are there any special items to note on any of your appliances? Is there a strange place where the tenant should change the furnace filter? Is there a swamp cooler that needs to be emptied from time-to-time? Be sure to go over these details with your potential renters to avoid unexpected maintenance issues and future frustrations.
After managing hundreds of rentals in Northern Colorado for many years, these are the main topics that have historically come up. Going over these lease details will not only educate your tenant, but you will also build trust with a potentially high-quality, long-term tenant.
Remember, if you are ever curious about how affordable our property management services are, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free cost and rental analysis today.