When you or your tenant decide to terminate a lease, it sets in motion a move-out process with several stages. Often, this can feel like a rush to the finish line because there’s so much need to get right in a short amount of time to avoid too many days of vacancy and rental loss.
There are opportunities to make the process more efficient and get the next tenant lined up before the lease has even expired. Here are seven areas of the move-out process where property managers can get faster (with reduced turn times) and leaner—from optimising maintenance to security deposit dispositions.
1. Encourage Two-Way Tenant Communication Early On
It is important to determine tenants’ renewal eligibility, their intent to renew, and then sign a new lease.
If they don’t intend to stay, or if they aren’t eligible for a renewal, it’s important to know that early, so you can list the property as soon as possible. A property manager always aims to keep positive two-way communications with tenants, and this is particularly relevant towards the end of a tenancy when they can check in with tenants and get the ball rolling with the end-of-tenancy process.
2. Organise the Lease Termination Process
If you’re terminating a lease for reasons other than expiration, you know that local laws will generally dictate the process you must follow to be compliant. Most notices of nonrenewal must be sent within a certain period.
However, if your tenant wishes to end their lease, your property manager can trigger a notice to tenants to vacate. It can include fields that capture move-out date, date of notice, forwarding address, and reason for leaving.
Once the move-out procedures are triggered, a property manager can follow up with tenants and rental owners on key dates and actions that must be taken.
3. Get Ahead of Move-Out Prep
Once a tenant has been given a move-out date, it’s time to start prepping for turnover. There are four main areas in the move-out prep process where property managers can find efficiencies: inspection, maintenance, utilities, and follow-up.
Using your original inventory report, your property manager will conduct a pre-move-out inspection. They can record any damages in real time and then generate reports for tenants and rental owners once the inspection is completed.
Tenants can use their report to repair damage ahead of their move-out date. That gives them the opportunity to get their full deposit back and avoids any last-minute surprises from their perspective.
You’ll also want to provide the report to rental owners so that they’re aware of any damage and can approve funds for mandatory and recommended repairs.
Finally, you can use the inspection report to assess the marketability of the home, so you can take the right actions to get it on the market as soon as possible. This also could be the perfect opportunity to recommend a renovation that will help maximise property rents.
With your inspection report in hand and a move-out date set, your property manager can start to arrange appropriate vendors to undertake maintenance on the property. Your property manager can manager contractors and ensure maintenance quality is up to scratch.
Finally, your property manager can follow up with all parties. Communicate inspection, maintenance, and move-out dates, and keep rental owners in the loop about needed repairs and tenant turnover.
4. Take Possession of the Property
When a tenant is ready to move out, both the property manager and a tenant may have to sign a written agreement stating that the tenant is turning over possession, and the property manager is accepting it. You can also simply hand over the keys.
When it comes time to collect keys, remotes, and other devices for the home, your property manager can ensure everything is collected at the time of move-out. Provide tenants with a move-out envelope, which they can use to deposit all items connected to the home.
5. Templatise Your Security Deposit Disposition
In Jersey, all security deposits must be kept with My Deposits. This helps ensure that all deposits are managed fairly between the tenant and the landlord. Your property manager can manage the relationship with My Deposits as well ensure the deposit is returned to tenants at the end of their tenancy.
A successful – and quick – turnover process saves you and your rental owners money. It also takes the worry of a vacant property off your owners’ minds and helps to deliver a solid tenant experience.
With all these boxes checked, you’ll be able to refine your move-out process in pragmatic ways that can strengthen your entire leasing cycle. When you focus on making your move-outs more efficient and a great experience for all, you’ll be surprised at how this last part of the leasing process can be a lucrative beginning.