There needs to be an enforceable document that lets the tenant know they are approved and lists the terms of the lease and who to contact. This identifies the start date, move-in date, rent, deposits, fees, utility companies and other critical data for their occupancy. It puts their deposit at risk and identifies what happens if they change their mind. If you get the lease signed immediately, you probably don’t need this. We don’t get the lease signed until 3-4 days before move-in so we use this to “lock them in” without having to sign the lease immediately. We purposely delay executing the lease because we’ve had some tenants request the lease in advance and back out over something they don’t like (fees, charges, etc). For us it is a 2-step process. The Official Notice of Approval commits them and gets the first month’s rent. Then, close to the move-in date when they are less likely to back out, we execute the lease.
The longer you’re in property management the more you realize that it’s sticky, often hostile, and sometimes even litigious. Over 35 years we’ve been burned many times by tenants and after the second or third time (we’re slow learners), we go back to the attorney and have them draft a document that prevents it from ever happening again. Blaming the property manager has reached an all-time high and isn’t going away anytime soon. So, understanding this reality, smart managers need to spend extra time, money and effort building and crafting documents designed to protect themselves, even from those they are trying to serve. We’ve pulled these documents from our archives and have listed them here for your review and individual download (or in packages by topic). We’ve laid them out in the Property Management Life Cycle categories to give the discussion some order.
Protecting yourself from tenants is what these documents are all about.
Download (PDF, 417KB)
The Property Management Lifecycle by Crown Investor Institute LLC