Handling the transition of a tenant moving out followed closely by a new one moving in, can be overwhelming for any landlord.
For a landlord, there is a lot of work involved such as inspecting the move-out conditions of the unit, clearing out garbage and cleaning the place making sure it has a welcoming vibe by the time the new tenant comes in. No one will leave the place as clean as you.
Often times, you’ll be faced with this insurmountable task of getting things turned around in a day or two.
Dealing with Leftover Possessions
If the previous tenant left a large amount of personal belongings— these aren’t tantamount to freebies, but more work for you to be done. There is due process to be followed in clearing out abandoned stuff such as defining tenant property and making a catalog of what was left behind.
As the property owner, it is your duty to secure the tenant’s possessions for a certain amount of time. They can reclaim their belongings during this period. Such protocols are in place to avoid any risk of claim for damages or destruction of personal property. Sure it’s all useless junk to you, but it’s not junk just yet until the claiming period has legally lapsed. So now there is a need to store your previous tenants belongings whilst the cooling off period lapses.
Yes, it can be an unreasonable dilemma to have tenants so irresponsible even with their personal belongings, that this becomes your responsibility. Consider yourself lucky that they’ve finally moved out.
Also remember to refer to the lease or tenancy agreement, for any tenant stipulations such as they are required to leave the property in good condition if they want to ensure the prompt return of their security deposit.
Doing a Rental Unit Walkthrough
When your tenant finally gives notice that they will move out, prepare to do a final walkthrough. This is a property inspection to check for any damages to the rental unit that is not due to natural wear-and-tear. This will help you decide whether the vacating tenant will receive their security deposit in full, or whether it will be used to cover the removal of fixtures, stained carpeting or damaged property. This also gives the tenant a chance to remediate the situation or do any of the repairs. Just note this is heavily legislated.
A Walkthrough Checklist
Every time a lease turns over, you know that it’s time to repeat this process again. So know what to look out for during your inspection and walkthrough:
- Remove and pack any belongings left behind.
- Dispose of garbage, biohazard or toxic materials (leftover pizza).
- Check the batteries of the smoke alarms. Make sure fire alarms (if any) are working properly.
- Repair any pet damage and cleanse the rental unit of any pet odors.
- Make sure plumbing is working and free of any blockages.
- Turn on all the utilities until you complete your walkthrough. You will be able to notice if there’s something wrong with any of the lights, water fixtures, heating, etc.
- Replace any broken bulbs or lights.
- Account for all the furniture of the rental unit.
- Observe for water damage.
- Check for holes and cracks on walls, doors, floors, tiles and carpeting.
Not all tenant move-outs have happy endings. Some people simply vanish and leave their things behind. It can get complicated when relatives show up trying to claim their belongings without due authorisation from the tenant. Some evictions can turn physical and confrontational. A move-out like that can get pretty messy.
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Does this all sound too much? It can be the thing of nightmares. If you do not want to deal with the constant headache of vacating tenants, inspections and maintenance, hire the property management firm that specialises in Whangarei Rentals – RentalExperts.co.nz powered by Rentals.Co. They can handle all of the responsibility involved with the move-out, and everything in between, so you’ll have more stress-free time on your hands.