Managing a rental property: Moving day

The big day has finally come around to welcome new tenants to your rental property, and whilst you will need to hand over the keys, here are seven additional crucial points to consider.

Published under Lettings and Our blog — Apr 2024
Managing a rental property: Moving day

The big day has finally come around. Here are seven points to tick off when welcoming your new tenants:


Check that pre-agreed works have been completed to a satisfactory level and the property is clean

You may have agreed and therefore contracted with your new tenant to make adjustments to the property, such as painting, and professionally cleaning the property in advance (which in turn means you can request the tenant professionally clean it when they move out). However, it’s still worth arriving a little early on the day of the move-in to give everything a final once-over.

Check for any obvious signs of dirt or grime that you can easily deal with, including around sinks, cooking surfaces and anywhere else that could do with a dusting. Natural signs of wear and tear such as marks on walls or floors are okay if you’ve detailed them in your inventory. Check all the bulbs are working, hot water runs, and the heating and gas hob fires up.


Welcome your tenants

Next, prepare yourself to welcome your new tenants. This could be the first time you meet them, so while you don’t need to make any grand gestures, try to keep it as friendly and relaxed as possible.

Bear in mind that this could be an important day for your tenant. They could be moving out of home for the first time, moving in with a partner or relocating to a different part of the country. They also may have taken time off from work or travelled for hours to get there, so do your best to make them feel at home.


Ensure the tenants have all the regulatory documents

The most important thing you’ll need to do on moving-in day is hand over an information pack with copies of your property’s energy performance certificate (EPC), the most recent version of the Government’s How to Rent guide, and your Gas Safety certificate if you have gas appliances. If you use an agent, and this is part of the services they provide, they should’ve already done this for you. However, it is critically important you check this has been done, as failing to do so may mean you won’t be legally allowed to issue a Section 21 if you want or need to evict your tenants in the future. On top of these you should hand over any other certificates, like an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), Portable Appliance Test (PAT), Chimney Sweep certificate, etc.

You may even want to ask your tenant to sign something to acknowledge that they’ve received everything.

Don’t forget, that legislation requires that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are checked on the day the tenancy starts.


Walk them through the inventory

Give your new tenant a copy of the inventory, and walk them from room to room, pointing out anything you’ve noted down. This lets both you and them check that everything is in the condition described and ensure that you’re on the same page. You may also add new details that you didn’t spot the first time. Don’t forget to ensure the property keys are available and working for your tenants along with a spare set, along with fobs for doors and gates.

Make sure you both sign and date your copies to reduce the risk of any disagreements over the deposit when they move out. Your letting agent will have organised for this to happen via a professional inventory client who will represent you and your interest in documenting the condition of the property.


Take utility meter readings

While you will have already made your utility providers aware of new tenants moving in, it’s important to provide accurate meter readings at the start of a tenancy to ensure the right people pay for the right amount of energy usage. Take photos of the readings with timestamps to avoid any room for dispute. A professional inventory clerk will do this for you.


Ensure your tenants have access to instruction manuals

Many things about your property will be self-explanatory, but everyday items such as ovens, showers and washing machines can take a little getting used to from model to model. Talk your tenants through how to use them and leave instruction manuals in a convenient place.

Your property may also have specific quirks, such as a door or window that opens in a particular way. Taking the time to explain how everything works will save you from phone calls or emails should they run into a problem later. Don’t forget to hand over the alarm code too if the property has one.


Agree on how you’ll contact each other

Before you part ways, make sure to exchange contact details and communicate any preferences or boundaries you may have. This could involve asking them to always speak to you via email apart from in emergencies or encouraging them to stick to texts within certain hours of the day.

Communication is a vital part of any successful landlord-tenant relationship, so make sure you get off on the right foot. You may want to detail a few examples of what you class as an emergency and what you don’t to avoid any unwanted confusion.


What about recruiting a letting agent?

Being a landlord can be time-consuming, especially if you’re new to property management, balancing it alongside other work responsibilities, or perhaps managing multiple properties.

Many of the tasks detailed above will be handled by our experts here at Hamptons. It may be worth weighing up your options if you think you could benefit from a professional managing agent’s service during the move-in process or later in the tenancy.


Get in touch

If you have any additional questions regarding managing a rental property, get in touch with your local lettings experts below.

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