September is almost here, which means the turn season is just around the corner. Wondering what turn season is? This is the period of time typically in August & September when students vacate rental units and new tenants move-in. It’s a hectic and stressful time for all involved.
However, there are a few tricks of the trade that can make this time frame a bit easier for landlords and property managers, resulting in happier tenants also.
1. Stagger Move-In & Move-Out Dates:
It’s recommended that landlords have a small window of time between lease dates. Quite often, general maintenance and cleaning will need to be done to each rental unit before it’s ready for the next tenants. By avoiding back-to-back lease dates, the landlord can allow a day or two to accomplish this.
2. Charge Key Replacement Fees for Unreturned Keys:
It’s a hassle for landlords to track down keys that weren’t returned by tenants and it can be a great inconvenience for the next renters. It’s best to include a lease provision stating that a charge will be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit, if keys are not returned by a specified date. This will increase the likelihood of keys being returned promptly.
3. Go Digital:
Many time-consuming tasks associated with move-in and move-outs can be handled online, which would dramatically save time. For example, lease applications, deposits and rental payments can all be easily handled digitally, eliminating a significant amount of paper work and time.
4. Provide a Move-Out Checklist in Advance:
The last thing a landlord wants is to handle security deposit disputes. By providing a move-out checklist with vacating expectations for the accommodation, it can alleviate misunderstandings for both the tenant and landlord. It’s recommended to provide this move-out checklist at least a few weeks in advance, so the tenants have ample notice about what they must complete before moving out.
5. Arrange for Junk/Furniture Removal:
Ever noticed how student housing neighborhoods have tons of old furniture and junk sitting at the curb in September? This is often because student tenants don’t plan or make arrangements to remove these items. This can be a burden to landlords, especially if they want it removed before new tenants arrive. If a removal date is planned but not needed, it can always be cancelled. But if a landlord waits until the furniture or junk is left and then tries to schedule its removal, there may be a significant delay for this service, due to the busy time of the year.
6. Don’t Forget About the Parents:
A student’s parents will play a pivotal role in the student housing process, whether they act as a guarantor or simply an influential figure in the decision making process. Whenever possible, landlords should gather contact information for the parents, as well as the student applicants.
7. Follow-Up and Get Feedback Early:
Every landlord wants happy tenants! Starting the landlord-tenant relationship on a good note is incredibly important and helps to accomplish this goal. Landlords should follow-up with their new tenants very shortly after moving in to ask if they have any concerns or complaints. This way, any potential issues can be addressed immediately. A landlord can also conduct exit interviews with tenants before they move out, to ask why they are leaving and if they have any suggestions for improvement. This can provide incredibly valuable feedback on how to increase tenant retention.