Having the interests of the Landlord, Tenant and Agent at heart, means having the perfect check-in conducted by an experienced and qualified independent party.
In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing our best practice tips on perfecting the check-in process and potential pitfalls to keep an eye out for.
So how do you Conduct the Perfect Check-In?
Despite the drive towards ‘PropTech’ and more recently ‘low-touch’ aspects as a result of COVID-19, ultimately at some stage of the process there has to be some level of physical presence. A perfect check-in must follow a defined process to ensure the obligations of the tenant, agent and landlord are understood and aligned for everyone’s best interests.
Delivering a perfect check-in goes far beyond simply handing over the keys. This process can still be carried out, outside the property, with an appropriate conversation maintaining social distance during the Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Meet your tenant on time, address them appropriately and politely
- Run them through the check-in process in a diligent manner with a clear explanation of what’s happening
- Ensure they understand that a comprehensive inventory has been conducted, explain what it includes
- Tenants should be made aware of the condition of the property, the levels of cleanliness, the operation of appliances, hot water, heating and windows, as well as whether compliant checks have been completed on smoke alarms, CO alarms and blind cleats
- When handing over keys, outline what each of them are for and where they should be used
- Communicate that meter readings have been taken and ensure they know where the meters are located as well as where the refuse bins/areas are
- Finally, make sure you leave time to answer any questions they may have
Conducting the perfect check-in isn’t as cheap as simply handing over the keys, however, through carrying out the process in this manner you’re instilling trust from the outset that yourself and the Landlord care about the relationship with their tenants. Setting up this trusting partnership, pays ten-fold in the long run.
Additionally, you won’t miss anything like maintenance issues or incorrect meter readings, that could lead to time and cost implications further down the line.
Why is doing the Check-in properly and independently so Important?
The lettings industry is competitive and changing rapidly. With more pressure on costs, fees and taxes, Landlords and Agents may be encouraged to save costs by either doing the Inventory and check-in themselves which then becomes biased and driven by self-interest. Also, remember from the 1st June 2020 all fees are banded regardless of when the tenancy started.
The Agent or Landlord may not have the patience or expertise to balance the expectations of the incoming tenant and may also fall into the danger that the tenant expects an independent, impartial inspection to protect their deposit. The belief remains do what you are good at. Thus, an experienced independent clerk will always close out the initial lettings process to ensure the tenant is happy and helps to protect the reputation of the Agent and Landlord even if there are initial issues to be rectified. The Landlord or Agent becomes a leader in what they do by using a specialist supplier to enhance their core offering rather than trying to be a ‘Jack of all Trades’.
Robin S. Sharma
Ask yourself the below questions:
- Analyse your current lettings business. How does the current check-in process work, what does it involve?
- If you do the check-in process internally as an agent do you have a specific person that just does this task or do they do several things? How is the process unbiased?
- Likewise, if you are a Landlord, do you feel you could benefit from an experienced person to do this task thoroughly and diligently on an unbiased basis?
- If you use an independent company, have they explained what they do at the check-in, have you made sure it aligns with your service and quality standards?
If you are a Landlord or Agent that still does the check-in yourself, then ensure you follow the tips given above to balance the expectation of the tenant and get them to agree mutually to the check-in report with yourselves to offset any form of bias or self-interest.
If you have an independent company that does the check-in, ask them to explain their process and ensure they cover the areas we have mentioned. Set clear expectations.
Contact us now on +44 7932 760 563, we can manage your whole inventory, check-in, check-out and inspection processes as well as enabling your deposit dispute/renegotiation process to be simpler and easier.