Checklist for First-Time Tenants

First-time tenants are excited about renting their first property from you, but they don't always have the life experience to know everything that goes into setting up a new residence.

Get off on the right foot with your new tenants by going through this checklist and providing useful resources before or during the move-in process.

Not only do you begin creating a quality relationship with your first-time tenants, you also reduce the risk of them damaging your property or causing other problems due to a lack of knowledge.

  • Utility company contact information: If your tenants are responsible for any utilities, provide the utility company contact information so they can quickly transfer the accounts into their names. While your lease covers the utilities the tenants are responsible for, reiterate this information so it doesn't get missed in the rush to move in.
  • Basic house systems: Provide guides on how to use basic house systems and appliances, such as the heating and cooling system, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and oven. If your tenants have access to the furnace, water heater, and other systems, provide information on shutting these systems off in an emergency.
  • Basic maintenance: Restate basic maintenance duties the tenants are responsible for, such as changing light bulbs.
  • Maintenance request process: Provide your new tenants with information about your maintenance request process. This prevents small, inexpensive problems from turning into costly ones because your tenants didn't know they could ask for help.
  • Rent payment process: First-time renters have never paid rent before, so they may need some assistance with the process. If you use an online rent payment system, provide a step-by-step guide to ensure you get paid on time.
  • Community information: Improve long-term tenant retention by helping your first-time tenants fall in love with the community. Provide information on events, restaurants, parks, nightlife, recreation, and other attractions in the nearby area.
  • Garbage and recycling schedule: Keep your rental property clean by letting your new tenants know the garbage and recycling schedule, where the trash cans are and where to place cans for pick-up.
  • First home essentials: First-time tenants may not have many household essentials, such as a first aid kit, basic tools, or necessary kitchen supplies. Provide a room-by-room list of recommended items for your tenants.
  • Nearby businesses: Provide a list of nearby grocery stores, department stores, post offices, schools, and other important locations.
  • Delivery: After a long day of moving into their first rental, your new tenants won't necessarily be up for breaking in their kitchen. Provide a handy list of places that deliver food to the property.
  • Forwarding mail: Get your tenants set up with mail forwarding from their previous addresses, and give tenants an address change checklist to help them keep important organizations updated, such as their employers.
  • Cleaning supplies list: Help new tenants keep your property clean by providing a list of important cleaning supplies and the surfaces they are used for. If you want to take it one step further, create a welcome home kit that includes the most important supplies.

First-time tenants are an unknown quantity in your renter pool. You have no frame of reference for how well they take care of a home, but you can help set expectations and minimize problems by going through this checklist and educating your tenants effectively.

Posted on Mar 22, 2016


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