As a landlord, you will enjoy the period when your rental house is occupied by tenants. You will get a steady monthly income from it and although there will be some hassle managing these tenants, things will be alright.
The bigger challenge arises when tenants decide to leave. You suddenly have the headache of planning the move-out formalities, cleaning the house and preparing it for new tenants, advertising your property, preparing the rental agreement, and so on.
All these activities, by the way, are handled by a property management company so you should consider hiring one for your rental property in India
One of these activists – cleaning and repairs, is an extremely important one. In this article, we cover everything you need about managing this task.
The only 5 things you need to do when a tenant is moving out
- Attend the move-out inspection and manually inspect everything
- Maintain photographs and document everything
- Check all utility bills
- Clean the property thoroughly and perform any repairs that are needed
- Plan for these activities when taking the deposit
1. Attend the move-out inspection and manually inspect everything
Do not perform the final moving out formalities over call or message, do it in person. It’s much harder to justify why the tenant who is moving out should pay for a damage after they have moved – they will simply deny doing any damage. If you inspect the property in person with the tenant there, you can easily point out to any damages that they will need to pay for.
This applies to cleaning and servicing as well, and not just to physical damages. The cost, time and effort for cleaning will depend on the condition of the house when the tenant is leaving, so they also have some responsibility for it. During the moving-out inspection, if you feel the deep cleaning work will take more than usual time and money, you have the right to charge the tenant for it.
The only time it’s OK to not perform the moving-out inspection in person is when you have employed the services of a property management company. The property management manager and their team will take care of the inspection and the cleaning and repairs activities so you won’t have to worry about it.
2. Maintain photographs and document everything
Tenants who are moving out can sometimes deny a damage was done by them, even if they agreed to it during the manual inspection. The company handling cleaning and repairs could charge you falsely for something that wasn’t there. Other similar frustrating situations could arise when a tenant leaves.
The best solution to this problem is to maintain photographs for everything, and you should take them when you are performing the in-person manual inspection. That way you have proof for any issue that may arise and there will be no ambiguity, neither in your mind nor in the minds of the tenants/workers.
This is exactly we as a property management company handle moving out tasks. We take photos and document them clearly so that you as the owner know what is happening and everyone involved in the move-out is on the same page.
3. Check all utility bills
You don’t want your new tenants calling you asking why they have received arrears on their electricity bill even though they just moved in.
A lot of times tenants either forget or purposely skip paying utility bills during the last month because they are leaving anyway. These end up showing as areas in the next month’s bill that is sent to the new tenants. It will eventually be you who has to foot the pending amount.
Make sure you check all utility accounts and ensure they have all been paid for.
4. Clean the property thoroughly and perform any repairs that are needed
If you have shown your house to tenants before, you will realize that it is much, much, much easier to convert a lead into a tenant when the house is clean.
It doesn’t matter how big your house is, how many amenities you provide, how cheap the rent is, if the house is dirty and messy when the potential tenant comes to see it. They will take just one look and decide not to select it.
This is more of a psychological effect. When a potential tenant is checking out a place, they are trying to imagine themselves living in it, visualizing their friends coming to visit, imagining weekend parties, Sunday brunches, and so on. When you present a dirty house, they see the same dirty house in their vision and they will obviously be turned off by the prospect of living there.
Trust us, hire deep cleaning services and get the house completely polished.
- Clean the house of dust, dirt, and other junk
- Wash the curtains, clean the carpets, or replace both (if they cannot be cleaned)
- Repaint the interiors
- Fix any damaged items
- Pay close attention to the bathrooms. Make sure they are clean and all faucets, taps, etc are working fine
- If the house has any external features – fencing, a gate, etc, make sure that is spruced up as well
- Prepare the house before you even list it on the rental market
Here are some property cleaning companies you can hire:
An alternative to all this headache is hiring a property management company. We have in-house vendors for all these activities and take care of everything for you – tenant moving out activities and also finding new tenants.
5. Plan for these activities when taking the deposit
In Bangalore (and other parts of India) owners generally collect 2X or 3X the rent as a deposit. The idea is that when the tenant is leaving, the last month’s rent can be taken from the deposit and another month’s rent extra is deducted for repairs/painting etc. So the owner needs at least 2X the rent in deposit.
How much you collect as the deposit is really up to you. Just to be safe, though, include the final month’s rent and repairs/cleaning cost in it.