Dear New Tenant...
You could just hand your new tenants the keys, but it's a good idea to put together a welcome kit to help them get settled in. Your locality may also require you to provide them with information about the landlord-tenant relationship and how housing disputes are addressed.
Getting Ready to Move In
Give your tenants the numbers they need to contact service providers to have utilities, telephone, and cable turned on. Let them know how to schedule their move in date and if there are any restrictions on how or when to reserve the elevator. If you require a certificate of insurance from their moving company, let them know the information needed: the amount of coverage, the names of the additional insured, and where the certificate should be sent.
You may have discussed your policies with the tenants when they looked at the property before signing the lease, but chances are they won't remember them. Putting the rules in writing means there won't be any misunderstanding and will help protect you if there's any dispute.
Garbage and Recycling
Let the new tenant know how you handles garbage and recycling. The rules vary from one location to the next, and every property manager has their own approach.
What happens if a tenant loses their key or is locked out? Whether you provide emergency access or the tenant needs to call a locksmith, let them know how to obtain access when they are locked out. Also let tenants know if they are required to provide keys to you when they change the locks or if there is a limit on the number of keys allowed.
If you manage a building and it has shared laundry facilities, let your tenants know how the machines operate, who to call if there is a problem, and the hours the laundry room is open.
Let tenants know if packages will be held for them, how long they will be held, and how they should claim them.
Specify the hours and any regulations for using the pool, gym, and similar facilities that may be available to the tenants, and whether these amenities are restricted to residents or can be shared with their guests. If you have facilities like a party room or barbecue grills, let the new tenants know how to reserve them.
While tenants have a right to privacy, you have a right to access the rental to make necessary repairs, show the property to prospective tenants when the lease is ending, or in case of emergency. Let tenants know the circumstances in which you'll need access and how you'll inform them you were in their home.
Repairs and maintenance
Let tenants know how to report problems with the home or on the property, and how to request repairs.
Will you provide a reminder each month, or are tenants expected to submit payment without prompting? Do you take credit cards, checks, or cash? Tell your tenants where, when, and how rent payments are to be made.
Add other topics to your welcome pack depending on your location, your property's features, and your building's policies. Help your new renters settle in easily and happily, and you'll increase the chances of turning them into long-term tenants.