Landlords who want tenants to follow the rules and properly care for a rental property are well-advised to conduct a new tenant orientation.
Here are some tips to make the most of an orientation:
1. Create a list of topics to cover. Some basic requirements include emergency procedures like what to do if… and how to shut off the water or gas. Reporting repairs and pests, how to use appliances, and how to avoid injuries like carbon monoxide poisoning are high priorities. Tenants don’t always think of these things.
2. Discuss the lease requirements. Repetition matters when it comes to following the lease and going over those rules several times is the best way to educate tenants — including those who didn’t read the lease before they signed it.
Go over issues that commonly generate complaints, like guests and noise restrictions. Also, review the logistics, like where and when to drop off the rent, how to set up utilities, and parking rules.
3. Work with individual tenants. There are many things in property management that can’t be done online, and this is one of them. If orientations are performed for a group of people or on a video tutorial, tenants won’t feel any personal connection — a necessary element of a good landlord-tenant relationship.
4. Keep it hands-on. Doing is better than showing. Allow the tenant to open the window bars, shut off a water valve, open the compartment for the smoke detector batteries, explore the emergency exits and so on. This will better reinforce the idea, help the tenant feel confident, and uncover problems, like sticky windows bars or low batteries.
5. Leave something behind. Provide the tenant with materials that summarize what was covered in the orientation. If that information is online, provide a refrigerator magnet or business card with the link to follow.
Not all tenants will behave, but a tenant orientation gives those who want to the opportunity to do the right thing.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.