As your tenancy comes to a close, there are a few things that you need to start thinking about so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Leaving everything to the last minute is definitely going to add to the stress of replacing your tenants since it takes time to:
- ensure your property is ready to be rented out again, and to
- actually find new tenants.
Here’s a quick view of the things you’ll need to be thinking about as a tenancy comes to a close.
The process of finding new tenants takes time, and the longer you have an empty property, the longer you will be going without rent. Always start advertising sooner rather than later. A good time frame is between 4-6 weeks before the property will be available. This gives you plenty of time to advertise, and then start processing applications before your current tenants move out.
Of course, you will have to be mindful of your current tenants. They can’t stop you from advertising your property or showing prospective tenants it, however, you cannot interfere with their enjoyment of the property.
Your tenants will keep paying rent right up until they move out – as set out in the lease. However, it is still good practice to send them an email or letter detailing how much they owe you before the end of the tenancy. This is one of the reasons that it’s important to keep good rent records. You don’t want to get to the end of the tenancy only to discover that you’re not entirely sure how much you’re still owed in rent.
It’s a good idea to do an inspection a few weeks before the end of the tenancy so that if there are any issues that the tenants need to sort out, they have a chance to do so. This will also give you an opportunity to see if there are any repairs that need to be handled before new tenants move in.
Once your tenants have completely moved out, you need to complete a final inspection with them. This is when you’ll discuss things like the bond refund, and whether there is any damage that you’ll need covered by the bond. It’s a good idea to bring the bond refund forms to this inspection with you, that way you should be able to get it filled out and ready to send off right there.
If – for some reason – you are unable to fill out the bond refund forms at the inspection, or there are other issues, it’s important that you make sure that you’ll have contact details for your tenants as they move on. You should also ensure that they still have your contact details.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether you’ll be a referee for the tenants moving out. This can also be discussed during the final inspection.
If you later discover that your tenants have left anything behind, make sure to get in contact with them as soon as possible. If – for any reason – you are unable to get in contact with them, refer to this chart for guidance on what to do next.
Now that your property is empty, it’s time to make sure that any necessary repairs and maintenance has been handled, and that your property is ready for a new tenancy.