8 Issues to Address with Your Tenant at the End of a Lease

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Owning a property can be quite fun and exciting, but it is also very challenging. If you’re living in it, it’s up to you to fix any problems with the place, and all repairs are your responsibility. The same goes for cleaning and keeping the place in good condition. If you’re leasing it, though, your challenges will most likely double, because you now have a tenant to deal with on top of all that. While there are some great people out there you can lease to, you never know how your luck will turn out. In any case, before a tenant moves out, by the end of their lease, there are some things you need to discuss with them. 

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Repairs
You, naturally, will have handed the property to the tenant in excellent condition, with nothing malfunctioning. The first thing you need to address with them before they move out is taking care of all repairs in the property because just as it is your responsibility to hand it over in pristine condition, it’s theirs to give it back the same way. So, make sure the tenant knows they have to take care of any damage to the place that might have happened during their tenancy, from fixing broken windows and dented doors to ensure all electrical equipment and smoke detectors are working perfectly.

Undoing any changes

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It happens quite often that a tenant will want to paint a room or make other drastic changes to the property like tearing down a wall. They should definitely consult you before doing so. In any case, if the agreement between you states it, they need to undo all the changes they made to the property. So, that means bringing back the old paint color and building the wall back up. Make sure you’re very clear with this one to avoid any confusion when it’s time for inspection.

Internal systems
A lot of tenants seem to forget the importance of checking the internal systems of the property while doing their inspection, which can be quite problematic. You have to make sure the electrical, plumbing and heating systems are working perfectly before you can hand the tenant their security deposit back. The last thing you want is for a new tenant to come over only to find clogged pipes or electrical circuit problems because in that case, it will be up to you to fix those problems for you let the old tenant off the hook.

Cleaning
This is one of the most important angles you have to cover with the tenant before the lease comes to an end and they leave your property. Just like you take care of the cleanliness of the place before they move in, the tenant has to clean your property before they go, and it can’t be a random, subpar clean. You should insist that they hire a professional cleaning service to take care of it, and even withhold their security deposit until that happens.

Many tenants will tell you they can do it themselves, but that is definitely a bad idea. You need professionals to come with their high-grade detergents and experience to cover all areas and spots you know the tenant would miss. After all, you’re renting it to a new person soon, and if the current tenant doesn’t get professional cleaners, you’ll have to do it anyway.

Emptying the place
You definitely don’t want the tenants to leave without taking all their things with them. The last thing you want is to find clutter and previous tenants’ belongings in the place while you are trying to lease it to a new person. The place has to be emptied, thoroughly, before they leave. The thing is, this will most likely require a moving service to take all the furniture that isn’t yours and move it, and you shouldn’t be the one to pay for this service. The tenant can’t leave you with pieces of furniture they don’t want; they have to dispose of them as they see fit, not just leave them in your property. So, make sure you’re very clear on this one and don’t give them back the deposit until the place is cleared.

Covering the bills
It goes without saying that you should be certain the tenant paid all property bills before moving out. That includes electricity, water, and gas bills, and even the internet if the subscription is in your name. It’s important that you don’t forget this one because if you do, you’re going to be the one who pays those bills out of your own pocket.

Returning the keys

returning-the-keys-photo

Source: pixabay.com

The tenant has to return all copies of the property keys before moving out. If they fail to do so or lost one copy, you need to charge them for the cost of changing the locks. You never know if the tenant is keeping a copy for themselves, so unless all are returned, they have to pay for installing new locks. This is important because you might be subject to legal liability if anything happens to the new tenants because you neglected the situation of the lock.

When the security deposit will be returned
At the end of all this, you, as a landlord, need your property to be received exactly as it was handed over, and the tenant wants their security deposit. The final detail you need to address is when exactly you plan on giving it back, and what boxes have to be checked first. It will naturally happen after your final inspection, which you also need to set with the tenant. After you’re done with your inspection and you’ve made sure everything is fine, you can then give them their money back.

It is important to deal in good faith, but that never means you should let your guard down, especially when it comes to tenants. It is always better to be safe than sorry. You also need to document everything before the tenant moves in, using photos and videos. That way, you can easily compare the condition of the place when their lease is up.

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Summary
Title
8 Issues to Address with Your Tenant at the End of a Lease
Description
Owning a property can be quite fun and exciting, but it is also very challenging. If you’re living in it, it’s up to you to fix any problems with the place, and all repairs are your responsibility.
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