How to handle that first tenant inquiry.
It can be an exciting and scary time for a new landlord – read below how to handle inquiries like a professional and get the deal done.
START by going to CHBO and logging into your Dashboard! Here you will find for FREE the CHBO Handbook, Annual Reports, dozens of documents and guidelines to make your life easier.
1) Confirm tenant is legit.
- Ask Questions – such as why they’re looking to rent your property, who will be staying there and for how long, pets, kids, etc. – Document Link
- Complete Rental Application – Document Link
- Run Credit Report & Background Check – Link(My Smart Move)
2) Complete lease agreement.
- You’ll want to create your own lease agreement based on your state and HOA laws.
- Lease Template – Document Link
- Always a good idea to have a local real estate lawyer review your lease before using it.
3) Collect security deposit and/or letter of responsibility.
- Be sure to collect a security deposit upfront to reserve the property for the tenant or read this article to learn how you can avoid the security deposit altogether.
- If it’s a corporate renter and his/her company will be paying the bill, you’ll want to send the tenant a Letter of Responsibility to give to his/her company representative for completion. A sample Letter of Responsibility and a template invoice and receipt are available upon logging into your MyCHBO account.
4) Arrange for key exchange.
- Many landlords are able to personally welcome someone into the home, while others have lock boxes on the property. Lock boxes should be kept in a safe and well-lit area. Kwikset has keys that can easily be rekeyed by the homeowner. There are also keyless entry door locks that require a code and can be changed after each tenant. You can purchase one through CHBO partner, ResortLock.
- If you provide a garage door opener, be sure to write down the make, model and code so it can easily be replaced if lost. Record serial numbers of access cards so they can be deactivated by building management if lost or stolen. We also offer some tips for handling mailbox keys on our blog.
5) Prepare property.
- Make sure the property is furnished to the tenant’s expectations.
- Make sure the expected utility services are turned on.
- Prepare a property manual. Read this article for tips on how to prepare a property manual.
6) Clean and inspect the property.
- Do a complete written and video inventory of the property.
- Don’t skimp on the inspection and ask your tenant to sign an inspection list upon arrival to confirm the property’s condition. A sample inspection checklist is available in your myCHBO Dashboard.
7) Follow up.
- Call the Tentant – shortly after arrival, be sure to call and check in with tenant to make sure everything is ok.
- Review and confirm departure date and details if it’s a short-term tenant.
- Ask for a property review.
8) Return deposit.
- Inspect the property for damage.
- Promptly return the tenant’s deposit.
- Each state requires security deposits to be returned within a specific timeframe. Check here to see your state’s rules.
You did it – now you are a successful and profitable landlord!