How often do you have to run around under pressure at month-end getting cleaners and contractors in at short notice to get a vacated property up to standard for a new tenant to move in the next day?
And then (to top it all off!) you still have to deal with deposit disbursement disputes over the cost of the cleaning and/or repairs!
Tip #1: Ensure Vacating Tenants Understand Your Expectations & When Their Right to Rectify Problems Expires
Are your vacating tenants clear on your expectations? Do they understand that their opportunity to correct any defects ends at the termination of the lease? Do they understand that once the lease has ended the landlord is entitled to rectify any damage and deduct the cost of repairs out of their deposit? Do they understand that there is no obligation on the landlord to get their permission and/or provide them with any quotes – receipts for the costs incurred and proof of the damages (before and after) are sufficient in terms of the Rental Housing Act!
Tip #2: Ensure Your Landlords Understand the Finality of the Outgoing Inspection Report
Despite you completing the exit inspection and signing off the report, do you often have to deal with a landlord that wants to claim other expenses post-inspection! And they’re not happy when you explain to them that it’s too late – the Rental Housing Act is clear, the joint outgoing inspection is the one and only opportunity to document the state of the property and on which to base any claims. But, do you communicate this clearly to your landlords? Do they understand that to have a say in the report they need to attend the inspection, or ‘forever hold their peace’, so to speak?
Tip #3: Comprehensive, Consistent Communication to Ensure All Parties are on the Same Page
I know, it can be a nightmare!
There is, however, a way to avoid a lot of this stress! I have found that implementing a protocol that included a Pre-Exit Inspection for ALL vacating tenants 2 – 3 weeks prior to the end of the lease, with a comprehensive pre-exit inspection report is key to avoiding a HUGE amount of month-end stress and avoidable deposit disputes!
Of course, clear and comprehensive communication, as always, is also key to ensure that everyone is on the same page . . .
It’s critical to ensure that . . .
- Tenants understand your expectations clearly
- Tenants are aware that their right to rectify damages ends at the end of the lease
- Tenants understand that post-lease the landlord does not need their permission to rectify repairs and/or provide them with quotes – receipts and before and after evidence is all that the Rental Housing Act requires
- Landlords know that the joint exit inspection is the final opportunity for EVERYONE to have an input in the final outgoing inspection report and the only legal basis for any damages claims
Tools to Help You Minimise Exit-Related Stress at Month-End
To give you an idea of the kind of communication and exit procedure that I have found avoids A LOT of the above problems, here are complementary copies of the pre-written communication templates included in my Exit Process RentPack:
As well as the Best Practice Exit Procedure Flow Diagram that I have found works
All the editable and brandable pre-prepared communication templates, flow diagram, etc are are available to purchase as a downloadable and customisable RentPack.
I also have two Webinars-On-Demand that cover these topics and give a lot of tips to avoid post-inspection and deposit related disputes – including why I believe that the ingoing inspection is more important than the outgoing inspection and why I believe that you should definitely include a state of the property video for all ingoing inspections at the very least!