5 Steps for Seamless Tenant Onboarding

The rental market is always shifting, but tenant turnover remains a common feature. As a property owner, you will have to look for and welcome new tenants at some point. When that time comes, you need a foolproof plan for successful tenant onboarding. The following tips can help you to get started.

1. Point of Inquiry

Potential tenants can reach out to you on listing pages, classifieds, websites, or social media. The points of inquiry are essential because they maximize your property’s exposure. 

From the onset, provide all information about the property, including requirements, rules, and costs. Providing the latest pictures of the property can also help at the point of inquiry.

2. Rental Application Review

Your advertisement may attract many potential tenants. You have to be careful and fast, particularly since any form of discrimination may result in a lawsuit. So, understand tenant screening compliance requirements but try to get the best prospective tenants. One of the key things to check is whether the prospective tenant has a good credit score.

Check the following things as well:

  • Income verification: Request for the paycheck stubs and employer’s details. Tenants with a higher income-to-rent ratio and a long employment history are ideal.
  • ID check: Ask for a government-issued ID and verify its authenticity.
  • References: Ask for references from previous landlords or property managers. Reach out to the previous landlords and get further information about the tenant.

In some cases, you can do a comprehensive background check to determine the suitability of the tenant.

3. Explain and Sign the Lease

Before you sign the lease, explain every aspect of the lease to your new tenant. The lease includes legal terminology and specific rules you may have to explain to the tenants. A lease explanation is especially necessary when you are dealing with somebody fresh out of college or renting their first apartment or house.

In addition, the lease must have the full names of all the people who will be living in the rental property. Other details include the date when the lease starts and the duration of the lease. If the tenant pays a deposit and additional fees, include that in the lease. Also, the lease agreement must specify policies relating to pets and late payment of rent.

4. Inspect the Property

Before the tenant has settled in the apartment, do a comprehensive property inspection. The tenant should be present during the inspection as you explain any problems in the unit. In addition, create an inspection report and give a copy to the tenant. Photos and videos of the property just before the tenant moves in will come in handy if disputes arise later.

Some of the things you should check are the windows and doors to determine if there are any holes and cracks. Damage on the floor, like stains and scratches, should also be apparent in the inspection report. Other places to check are the ceilings, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and smoke detectors. If the tenant disputes some details on the report, solve that dispute before the tenant moves in.

5. Moving In

The last step is to welcome the tenant into the unit. Remove the locks on the unit and ask the tenant to install theirs or provide the tenant with keys. You can even write a welcome letter to the tenant in which you reiterate your happiness and what you expect of the tenant. Once again, provide your contact details to the tenant.

If possible, prepare a welcome package for the tenant. For example, you can offer gift baskets that make your tenant smile. Gift baskets can include treats, beverages, and a map of the area. This will help your landlord-tenant relationship start on the right foot.

Finding and onboarding new tenants is time-consuming and complicated. A better approach is outsourcing property management to a qualified real estate firm, like New Leaf Properties LLC. We manage various properties, including condos, townhouses, duplexes, and single-family homes. Contact us for more information.