As a landlord, it is important to have several checklists available in order to keep a proper record of events and important items for better organization. This will also help in the event that an insurance claim must be made through your landlord insurance company. Some of these checklists will be filled out by tenants but most will be completed and filed for by you for your own records.
When tenants move in, it is best to have a checklist for them to fill out. This will be a room-by-room walk through with multiple questions for each room. For example, as the tenants walk through the kitchen it is ideal to include questions about the burners working properly on the stove, the oven heating to temperature, the refrigerator being intact and the freezer is working properly. Include a space under each question for the tenant to note scratches, dings or broken items noticed during their walk through. The notations should be followed up with by a property management representative so that the tenants are not held responsible for the items listed.
The move-out checklist should be completed by a representative or member of the property management company once the tenants have completely vacated the premises. This is to be compared with the move-in checklist that should have been placed in the tenant file. If there are any differences or noticeable damage, this should be noted and photographed. The cost of repairing these items should be deducted from any security deposits obtained. In cases of severe damage that is not satisfied by the security deposit, the property management representative should file a motion in a local court of law to seek restitution for the repairs.
As tenants apply for occupancy, it is best to keep a checklist of the items that you require to process the application. This will help office personnel to be consistent and thorough. This checklist should include spaces for the photocopying of photo identification, verification of employment, consent for a background check, consent for a credit check, receiving the application fee and the listing of personal and prior rental references. The application checklist should also include the completion of the application including verifiable work histories and eviction history lookups.
It is important to keep a checklist for tax records. This will help to ensure that write-offs, expenditures, gains, payments and any other items such as general expenses remain well organized. Each of these items should have a file system of their own with proper organization by month and year. In the event of an audit, these documents will be required. The ability to find information quickly as it is requested will be beneficial to speeding up the audit process. Payments for landlord insurance should also be kept in this records system. Audits can be requested for modifications to property tax rates as well as Federal income tax reports in regards to rental earnings received for that tax year.
When you are able to maintain records in a neat and orderly fashion, the process of renting properties is easier. Checklists are important to have in place to cover all of your bases and ensure that each process is handled correctly. When you create checklists, consider leaving a space for written miscellaneous notes. This space can be used for tenant comments, office staff comments or for any item that is not included in the checklist already. As a landlord, it is important to have all of your paperwork in order from start to finish when renting a property so that any disputes can easily be referred to by the paperwork that has been filled out.