For the first-time landlords, tenant onboarding is an exciting and serious process. Often, newbie landlords don’t know where to start and how to make their rental feel like home for the new residents. But with the right approach and tools in place, you can make the move-in process smoother both for you and your prospects. 

We all know that tenant satisfaction matters in the context of a long-term landlord’s career, so here are a couple of steps that will help you get prepared for new tenants to move in and provide them with an excellent renting experience from the very beginning.

Related: Tenant Move In Checklist: Top 9 Things For Landlords To Do

Choose ONE rental software for all tenants. 

If you don’t utilize any property management tools, it’s high time you started moving your rental business online - it’s important to stay current with market trends and this is a big one.

Regardless of the great number of property management software services that are available for every landlord worldwide, you should stick to the one that will be the most beneficial for how you run your business. Opt for a tool with a mobile version and a set of free basic features that you’ll find helpful on a regular basis. These features might include online payments, accounting dashboard, and maintenance management. 

P.S. - any built-in communication tool is a bonus. 

Prior to moving in a new tenant, encourage them to sign up for the rental software. This will not only help you stay more organized when managing your rentals, but it will also contribute to building a trusting relationship with your renters. 

Along with that, let your tenants know your preferred payment method for them to use, but don’t neglect the alternatives. Let’s face the truth: not all of your tenants are going to want to pay rent through the system you find the most efficient. There always will be a bunch of renters who’d like to send you a check or pay by cash


Prior to moving in a new tenant, encourage them to sign up for the rental software. This will not only help you stay more organized when managing your rentals, but it will also contribute to building a trusting relationship with your renters.

Property management software

Conduct a move-out inspection. 

If the rental has been occupied for a while, conducting a move-out inspection is a must. Make sure the property is in good condition and all appliances are working properly. If there are any damages that go beyond normal wear and tear, fix them before a new tenant moves in. Remember that security deposits can cover damage to the property, cleaning fees, and other costs associated with rental renovations. Also, change all the locks in the premises for safety measures. 

If the rental has been vacant, walk through the unit anyway and double check to see if it meets housing standards. Even if no one has been living there recently, deep clean the rental yourself or hire a house cleaning service to make your property shine prior to inviting new residents. 

Related: Landlord's Safety Checklist: Rental Inspections, The General Renters Insurance

Screen your prospective renters.

When it comes to long-term tenant-landlord relationships, it’s always better to know who you’re dealing with. For that, take advantage of tenant screening services that help gather all the information on prospective tenants and make sure you’re renting to reliable people. Landlords usually look out for any type of verification that a prospect has previously provided timely rent payments and takes care of the rental during their tenancy. Additionally, they would want to know if the person was involved in any criminal activity or financial fraud. 

Read more about the benefits of using tenant screening services in our article- How Tenant Screening Helps Landlords Find Great Renters 

Go through the lease’s terms and conditions. 

Once you’ve selected the perfect candidate for your rental property, prepare a lease agreement covering every detail of the tenancy. A proper lease agreement is a legally binding contract that protects the rights of both parties. Opt for digital documents with an e-signature option. Overall, online leases are more accessible and easier to renew. 

But sending the lease over to the tenant is not enough. To ensure that they understand the conditions of the contract, go over the lease agreement step-by-step and answer any questions that might arise to avoid misunderstandings in the future. 

The first thing to do before moving in a new tenant
TenantCloud Twitter Poll


What's the first thing you do before moving in a new tenant?

Change the locks. - 14%

Inspect the rental. - 48%

Clean the property. - 15%

Sign the lease. - 23%

How do you personally get prepared for new tenants to move in? Do you have a specific strategy?


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