Our walk-through is done prior to the tenant moving in. We provide the tenant with an electronic Inventory and Condition form upon move in and they are allowed to fill that out and return it to us within 5 days. This form is designed for a tenant to document what they perceive as issues with the property at the time they take possession.
Re-key, Security Devices, & Smoke Detectors
Texas Property Code states that all locks will be changed anytime a new tenant takes over a home. It is our policy to get this done within 7 days of the tenant taking possession of the home or prior to that time. A copy of the key will be kept at our office in a locked box. This is an owner expense and completely depends on what ends up needing to be done. Under no circumstances will we allow anyone other than our locksmith to perform re-keys on a property, this is for liability protection. Texas law prohibits this charge to be passed on to the tenant in normal circumstances. The home may also need additional security measures installed to meet Texas Property Code requirements. While our vendor is at the property for the re-key, they will also check to make sure the property is up to code (security devices and smoke detectors) in one single sweep, to include replacing any detectors that are expired or will be within 6 months. Replacing non-functional or expired detectors is an additional owner expense, and is not optional.
Incomplete Repairs / Contingencies
One of the worst things that can happen when we walk the property for a move-in is to find that the property isn’t ready. Owners (or their vendors) don’t always complete work as they promised or clean up thoroughly, and it creates unnecessary challenges for us. Tenants often arrive with their moving van and don’t have the time to clean the home before moving in. We do everything we can to prevent this, including a pre-move-in wipe down, but it doesn’t always work out the way we hope.
When the property isn’t ready, or the contingencies are not done as promised by the owner, we often have to take drastic actions, costing the owner serious money. When a tenant moves into a dirty home or one that has unfinished repairs, they will hold it against us for the life of the lease. We’ll do everything we can to make it right, but it usually is an expensive process because we’re all scrambling for solutions at the last minute in order to avoid losing the tenant. Remember this: speed always costs more, whether you’re shipping packages or calling a contractor or a cleaner to come immediately and finish a repair or clean the home so we can let the tenants take possession. In these situations, we go to work “making it right” and discuss the costs later.
By the time the tenant shows up to the office to pick up keys, they will have paid all deposits & initial rent. They will be required to show proof of renter’s insurance, as well, before the keys are handed over. We’ll also send them off with a nice little welcome gift containing some necessities for their first days in the home.