Series: Getting started with Chicago Investment Property. Part 4

Part 4 – Move-in Day.

Once the unit is prepped and ready for move-in, several things should occur before you hand over the keys.

If any forms are left to be signed, get them signed before you hand over the keys.

If any balance remains to be paid – get it now, before you waste time on any inspection. Once you hand over the keys, you sole recourse is eviction if any balance remains unpaid. Eviction is expensive.

Walk through the unit with the renter with camera and move-in inspection sheet in hand and note the condition of the unit. Have the renter fill out the inspection sheet in their own had writing and accept the condition of the unit. Put in writing anything you agree to fix and if you don’t want to fix something, put that in writing also. They don’t get the keys until you are both on the same sheet of music.

Take pictures of every room, every wall, every floor, every cabinet, every window, every door, everything. Media storage is cheap, take pictures of everything. You do this on the day of move-in because your camera will encode the picture with a date stamp. This could protect you down the road.

This sounds simple, but…verify the keys work – have the renter test them in front of you.

Once all paperwork is signed, all monies paid, the inspection is complete and acknowledged by signature of everyone, you can now hand over the keys. Now you should get out of there before you get roped into helping move boxes.

Sometimes the lease will say that it starts on the first but your tenants will want to move in a few days early if the unit is vacant to take advantage of a weekend. No problem, but they do have to pay prorated rent for the days they have possession. No pay, no move in early.

The renters now have assumed possession of the unit. Their rights, and your responsibilities, have just changed dramatically. That is why we made sure we took care of everything and got paid before handing over the keys.

Guide to articles

Part 1: Identifying potential property
Part 2: Marketing
Part 3: Taking an application and lease
Part 4: Move in day