Property Management for Landlords: The Giant Checklist

A Comprehensive Plan for Apartment Property Maintenance

Owning a rental property is an amazing first step to build a steady passive income stream. If you are a landlord who wants to ensure a smooth property management journey, you must implement a few systems to protect your investment. That way, your rental property will bring in positive cash flow throughout the year.

The organization is crucial to the success of any business. Designing and sticking to a property management manual is the best way to make the most out of your rental property.

At RTI Properties, we help landlords to manage their property, the best way possible. Our massive experience allowed us to create a comprehensive property management checklist for landlords so they can save valuable time and money.

Property Management Checklist for Landlords

» For Acquiring Tenants

The first step is to attract potential tenants to your property. Here are the things you need to do.

  • Figure out the current ‘rental rates’ in your neighborhood. Determine high and low rates so you can choose a rental amount in this range.
  • Design an engaging rental ad.
  • Capture photos using a professional camera. Don’t rely on your smartphone for clicking photos of your property.
  • Design flyers and add your contact information and as much information about the property as possible.
  • Advertise the rental property on the most appropriate online networks. For example, Craigslist or your local area website.
  • Promote the property offline by putting up a ‘For Rent’ sign.
  • Schedule open houses to attract potential tenants.

» For Screening Tenants

Apart from pre-screening before showings or open houses through a phone screening questionnaire, here are the things you must do.

  • Offer a virtual or physical property tour.
  • Follow up with interested parties/individuals.
  • Allow potential tenants to complete Rental Application.
  • Run a background check to verify the credit and criminal record of the applicants.
  • Contact the applicant’s previous landlord to know more about the prospective tenant.
  • Send a landlord verification form to the previous landlord if he/she doesn’t want to answer any questions, over the phone.
  • Take a decision according to your rental standards.
  • Once you accept an application, reach out to the new tenant for scheduling the lease signing and moving-in dates.
  • If you choose to reject an application, be courteous and send a standard letter to decline the request. Create a database to store the rejected applicants in case they apply again in the future.

» For Orientation

The next phase is to conduct an orientation meeting with your new tenant. Here is a checklist to ensure a smooth introduction.

  • Meet with your new tenant to complete the lease signing process. It’s a great idea for two people to review the document, so you don’t miss any important points.
  • Ask for a copy of their Driver’s License.
  • Collect security deposit and the first month’s rent.
  • Sign the ‘Utility Transfer Agreement.’
  • Offer a ‘Truth in Renting’ book to tenants.
  • Offer a ‘Lead Based Paint Booklet’ to the tenant and initial the ‘Lead Based Paint Notification’ and ‘Move Out Charges’ documents.
  • Fill out the information in the ‘Tenant Emergency Contact Information’ document.
    If applicable, sign a ‘Pet Agreement’ document.
  • Submit contact information to your property management team.
  • Sign the W-9 form (you will send the form to the bank along with the security deposit).
  • Provide keys to the new tenants.

» For Official Procedures

  • Add information about the tenant in your rental management system. For example, the contact information of your tenant and the security deposit amount, etc.
  • Create a copy of the Lease Signing Documents for mailing it to the tenant. Make sure the tenants have a signed copy of every document.
  • If you have a property manager, you can ask them to create a tenant file, both physically and electronically.

» For Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with your Tenant

  • Follow up with the tenant regularly to see how things are going.
  • Send a follow-up letter to remind the tenant about any rules or transferring utilities.

» For Retaining Tenants

Holding on to good tenants can protect your investment. Here is a checklist for retaining tenants.

  • Create a tenant appreciation program. Landlords should reward their loyal tenants and show appreciation. Many landlords give discounted offers and gift cards to tenants who pay their rent on time for the entire year or at least six months. That’s a great way to retain tenants, especially if you own multiple units or apartments.
  • Conduct regular property repairs by helping your tenant maintain the property. Whenever a tenant calls in, address the issues and take the necessary steps to take care of the problem.
  • Perform Preventive Maintenance: Landlords must stick to a ‘walk-through’ for checking the property on a yearly basis. That way, they can detect any problems that the tenant may be hiding.
  • Rent Collection: Establish the collection rules upfront. Set a fixed date and a defined method for rent collection.
  • Eviction Process: Create clear and concrete rules to define the eviction process. Make sure the tenant understands and agrees to these rules before moving into the property.
  • Tenant renewal: If you want to sign a tenant renewal agreement, send out the ‘renewal letter’ to your client at least three months before the lease ends.
  • Documentation: Don’t forget to document everything. Keep a record of the calls and letters that you exchange with tenants. This small step can go a long way to protect you in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Use templates: If you are managing multiple tenants, sending unique emails and messages can be troublesome. A great way to save time and effort is to stick to templates. That way, you can send multiple emails to different tenants without having to create a message from scratch.

» For Moving Out

To initiate a smooth ‘moving out’ process, here are the things you must remember.

  • Create a ‘score of work’ document and fill out a ‘Move Out Inspection’ form. Perform a walkthrough and take pictures of the property.
  • Once you identify all areas that need attention and repairs, classify them into the ‘wear and tear’ and ‘damages’ categories. Landlords can repair any ‘damages’ to their property by subtracting an amount from the security deposit.
  • Within 30 days of move-out, mail the ‘moving-out letter’ and the security deposit check to the forwarding address.

» For Turning Around the Property

To initiate a smooth ‘moving out’ process, here are the things you must remember.

  • After creating a ‘score of work’ document for repairing your property, design a schedule to contact contractors or your in-house team. You will need professional technicians and skilled laborers to turn around the property.
  • Recruit a professional property cleaning service to deep-cleanse and disinfect your unit. Perform a ‘walk-through’ to make sure everything looks nice and clean.
  • Put an air freshener in the living room and baking soda in the refrigerator (if applicable). Click pictures for marketing purposes.
  • Congratulations! You are back to the ‘Attracting Tenants’ phase.

Get the Best Property Managers for your Property in Los Angeles County

Follow our property management checklist for landlords for a smooth property management experience. If you want to team up with experienced property managers, contact RTI Properties. We boast decades of experience in serving real estate investors and property owners. Since the 1980s, RTI Properties continues to be the top choice for landlords in Los Angeles County to manage their property. From marketing to tenant acquisition and financial services, we take care of every aspect. If you want to know more, get in touch with us today.