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Tenant Turnover Checklist: Ditch Stress From Maintenance, Admin, and More!

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This post is all about tenant turnover checklist.


Welcome to Our Two Family House! We haven’t posted here in a few weeks because of a surprise – our renter broke their lease.

Any real estate investor knows that the turnover process = work. Whether things happen on good terms or bad terms, there’s simply a lot to do! With cleaning, leases, repairs, and more, turnover can present a myriad of challenges.

To make your life easier if you, too, go through the same thing, we are sharing our tenant turnover checklist! This includes cleaning, repairs, and administrative tasks. Here you go!

Tenant Turnover Checklist: First Steps

  1. Do a walk-through or moveout inspection with your tenant if so desired or required.
  2. Take pictures of the exact condition in which the apartment was left.
  3. Move out all the belongings left behind.
  4. Assess any damages.
  5. Check under sinks, cabinets, behind radiators for any animal/bug suspicions! 
  6. Check all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are working and updated.
  7. Change the locks.

Property Turnover Maintenance Tasks

Between leases is a great time to get into your rental unit, make necessary repairs, and easily access it for routine maintenance.

This is a non-exhaustive list of the repairs we check for in between tenants.

  1. Patch and repaint: ceilings, walls, trim
  2. Repaint hallway trim and walls
  3. Replace any air filters (check microwave, for example) 
  4. Run water in all places to check for backups or leaks
  5. Replace blinds if needed
  6. Replace lightbulbs or light fixtures if needed
  7. Repair hardware: cabinets, door handles, window brackets, etc.
tenant turnover checklist
blinds: always the first casualty

Apartment Turnover Cleaning Checklist

The next tenant to move in will probably do their own deep clean, but it’s only right to deliver them a freshly swept unit. You might hire a professional cleaning company, or just DIY it.

Here’s what we clean before new tenants come in.

  1. Clean: walls, windows, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, cabinets, countertops
  2. Clean: radiator covers, window sills, baseboards, trim
  3. Clean: washing machine (“clean” cycle), dryer vent
  4. Clean: microwave, stove, fridge
  5. Sweep and mop floors
  6. Sweep and mop staircase

Tenant Turnover Checklist: Administrative Tasks

  1. Call your realtor and/or property management company and give a heads-up on your vacancy.
  2. Assist with photos if necessary and sign contract for listing.
  3. Get keys from old tenant / arrange their move-out date.
  4. Update the lease agreement and/or provisions.
  5. Inform the previous tenant about any deductions from their deposit and when to expect it back.
  6. File a new dwelling certificate with the town.
  7. Deposit new tenant first month rent.
  8. Open the new tenant’s deposit account.
  9. Make copies of new keys.
  10. Update and print welcome packet.
  11. Upload new lease to Apartments.com (our favorite way to collect rent electronically!).
  12. Set up new rent charges, late fees, etc. on Apartments.com.
  13. Send invite to new tenants to Apartments.com.
  14. Switch utilities to our name during the vacancy.  
  15. Review applicants, interview best applicants.
  16. Sign new lease and other necessary paperwork with realtor and new tenants.

Tenant Turnover Resources

These are our essentials for flipping our rental property!

Every Landlord’s Legal Guide

This is the essential text for landlords to avoid getting your butt sued. Invest in it now!

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

These are a must-have for cleaning all those random marks left behind! We resurrected a radiator cover in ten minutes with these “erasers” rather than having to paint the radiator cover.

property inspection checklist template
Mr. Clean got all of this color out! Pretty impressive, right?

Bigger Pockets

Sometimes turnover can be tricky, and you need a second opinion. Perusing Bigger Pockets for different perspectives can help! Plus, you might find someone in the same situation that you are.

Check out their forums and podcast to expand your thinking! Oh, and if you need a new realtor for your listing, they have a local agent finder, too.

Final Thoughts on Tenant Turnover Checklist

We hope you have found this non-exhaustive list of turnover to-do’s to be helpful! May you boast zero repairs, easy cleaning, and find a fabulous new renter!


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