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In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

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Resident Move-Out

I remember the first apartment I moved into – it was a nice community that was well kept and gated for added security.  The managers in the office were very friendly; the community allowed for our dog; we had to argue with the company about having over $500 removed from the deposit due to repainting the entire unit because of a black scuff on one wall of a bedroom.  Unfortunately, that last portion was also the only goodbye memory I have from that community and also something that gets shared with anyone I talk to about an apartment to rent.  While not all residents will have the perfect send off, there are still small gestures you can make that will leave a positive lasting impression. 

  • Offer Additional Services: See what sort of reasonable deals local cleaning companies might be willing to offer you.  Pass this offer to your resident that they can subtract ‘X’ amount from their deposit.  For under $100 this might be a very attractive offer to someone relocating who doesn’t want to have to think about moving large appliances to clean their floor.
  • Leave a Card: Have a box of thank you cards in your office and a few days before someone leaves, put one on their door.  Something that says it was a pleasure having them as a resident and you hope they will remember the property fondly.
  • More Recycling!: Just like the moving box recycling program you can do the same for newspapers.  Once you have a sizeable amount they can go to a regular recycling receptacle, but until then they can be offered alongside the boxes for protecting fragile items.

Even though they are no longer your residents, they are still customers that have an opinion about your services.  With the different review sites readily available to renters right now it is more important than ever to find ways to make someone’s overall experience a positive one.

What other ideas do you have that leaves people feeling like your property is the one they should recommend?

Ryan Green has been in the housing industry for nearly 10 years working in various roles. He has both FCRA and Experian Certifications on the Resident Screening side of the industry and works with a passion for protecting people and properties alike through quality screening and sharing good information.
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Comments (3)

  • Guest (H. W. Graham)

    I have found the most useful way to guarantee that the end of a rental relationship is as pleasant as the beginning, is to make sure a thorough Statement of Condition is presented to the tenant at the beginning of the lease so that they can inspect the unit in an orderly manner and sign that they received the unit in the listed condition (or note any deviation). The same Statement of Condition is used by an independent inspector at the end of the lease. In this way, everyone is on the same page and the security deposit can be returned immediately after the inspection when the unit is returned in the same condition as it was received. Having accurate and concrete information about expectations followed by a quick return of money seems to get the very best results with no down time between tenants.

  • I really like the idea of offering the cleaning option. First, it's a great way to remind them about leaving the apartment in good condition, without sounding like you are scolding them. Second, it is a hassle free option where they don't have to pay any "new" money, as it can be taken directly from the security deposit. I think the key though is to allow them to select this option anytime, even on the day they move out. It might cause a bit of a scheduling issue with the cleaning company for quick turns, but my guess is that most people won't decide on this until they are done moving their furniture and are too tired to clean.

  • I agree Brent. With many people the security deposit ends up being "found money". They might have plans for it for one reason or another, but it likely isn't going right back to where they got it from before moving into the rental so it can be re-purposed.