Top 3 Landlord Checklists: The Value of Process

I admit it, I’m not the most organized person in the world. However, being an effective property manager or landlord is tricky for anyone lacking discipline, so during my years of managing rentals and talking with hundreds of property managers, I have learned to rely on a few checklists that help me keep my investments working effectively. My top three recommend checklists are:
  • Pre-Move-in check list: You can find decent lists online that are easy enough to customize for your own use, but my suggestion is you use your phone to record pictures and videos of the unit so you have evidence of the pre-existing conditions. Remember to ask your new tenant to sign the checklist before move in.
  • Quarterly or Bi-annual Inspection: This is a proactive process I like for a number of reasons. First, it allows you to be proactive about preventative maintenance issues that you may not have already heard about (think air filter replacements, potential plumbing issues, etc). Second, it helps you keep a closer eye on what’s really going on inside your unit (undocumented tenants, etc.) I recommend customizing your Move-in check list to accommodate these inspections so you have a point of reference throughout the life of the lease.
  • Move out walk thorough: When I get notice from a tenant they are vacating the home, I like to remind them of my expectations upon move out and set up a walkthrough. I print out my checklist with pictures and have my phone or iPad handy if there are any questions. Always get them to sign the move out checklist.
What processes or checklists do you use for your tenants?