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Apartment turnover checklist for smoother property management

A property management turnover checklist is what you need for organized, efficient, and successful apartment turnovers. This article describes how to track the turnover process from quality work to completion time with a digital apartment turnover checklist.

What is an apartment turnover checklist?


An apartment turnover checklist is a collection of tasks to be performed when a tenant ends their lease and decides to move out. Apartment handovers include move-out inspections, compliance inspections, and maintenance work. Using an apartment turnover checklist to organize the process ensures nothing is forgotten.


Apartment turnover checklist template



3 reasons to use apartment turnover checklists


  • Collect all the necessary pieces of an apartment handover in one document
  • Ensure a thorough inspection of the property during any inspections and/or maintenance
  • Make communication with you and your tenant(s) easier



What do apartment turnover checklists include?


An apartment turnover checklist exists to make the process of changing tenants faster, while ensuring you cover any issues with the apartment. Some of the most common items your apartment turnover checklist must address are:


Changing the locks


There’s no guarantee the previous tenant turned over all their keys or does not still have access to your property. Changing the locks should be one of the first items on your list after a tenant moves out. That way, you and your new tenants can have peace of mind.


Service or replace appliances


Appliances are expensive to replace, so it’s best to extend their life through routine maintenance. But if you need to replace anything, do it while the property is vacant. You can use the upgrades to your advantage by taking photos and featuring them in your apartment listing.


Examples of necessary maintenance include:


  • Replacing air and water filters
  • Inspecting the water pressure and drain systems
  • Inspecting the condition of appliances
  • Repairing and maintaining any hardware that needs fixing


Repair and paint walls


Freshly painted walls make great first impressions on prospective renters. Patch and repaint any holes, scratches, or dents. Use durable, neutral, and high-quality paint for best results.


Common repairs


A vacancy is an ideal time to inspect your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It’s also the perfect time to:


  • Replace any burned-out lightbulbs
  • Inspect the interior and exterior for signs of leaks
  • Verify smoke and carbon monoxide detectors function
  • Attend to any landscaping needs
  • Address repairs listed in the move-out inspection
  • Deep clean the entire property


Deep cleaning carpets


Carpets can get dirty, especially without regular maintenance. Deep cleaning carpets each time a tenant leaves is an excellent idea because you can use it as a selling point for new renters.


Woman moved into new apartment surrounded by boxes



How does the apartment turnover process look?


The search and preparation of an apartment for a new tenant proceeds over several steps. Apartment handovers can be long, sometimes even months-long, so your apartment turnover checklist needs to cover a lot.


Every apartment transfer goes more or less like this.


Tenant gives the notice to vacate


The notice to vacate is a document signed by a tenant to notify the landlord that they wish to leave the rental property when the contract ends. Once you get this, you send your tenant move-out instructions, including any specific cleaning requirements, instructions for leaving the keys, and how to get their deposit returned.


Tenant returns the keys


Once they’ve returned their keys, a tenant officially signifies they no longer intend to live in your property.


Move-out inspection


You can do the move-out inspection on the same day your tenant returns their keys. Tenants have a right to witness the property assessment.


Your apartment turnover checklist must include the steps taken during move-out inspections. Whoever inspects the apartment needs to include photos to support their findings. Images help anyone looking at the inspection report later to understand exactly what condition a property is in.


Determine damages


During the move-out inspection, write down all the damage to the property you observe. Recording and documenting damages is necessary so you can apartment for new tenants. It also helps you measure how much of the security deposit to return.


Repairs and maintenance


Once your old tenant has vacated, repair any damage to the apartment immediately or make upgrades if necessary.


Clean the property


A freshly cleaned home is attractive to prospective tenants. Following an apartment turnover checklist makes your cleaning efforts more thorough, if you’re cleaning the place yourself.


However, it’s best to hire a professional cleaning company to deep-clean an apartment. They’ll have the tools and knowledge to do the job well.


Compliance inspections


When you manage a rental property, it’s recommended that you get the necessary compliance certificates. Examples of inspections required of rental properties in most states include lead inspection and water testing.


happy tenant in their apartment


Streamlining apartment turnovers with workflow automation software


Managing apartment turnovers using a checklist is painless when you use workflow automation software like Lumiform. Lumiform’s combination of desktop and mobile application let you create apartment turnover checklists in minutes, and use your laptop, smartphone, or tablet to work your way through inspections, even offline. The way checklists are designed, inspectors get step-by-step walkthroughs for each task, so there’s no training required.


Checklist-based inspections standardize workflows and ensure that apartment handovers proceed with nothing overlooked; but using Lumiform to manage the process also:


  • Ensures that all inspection findings are automatically documented in a clear format, and saved to the cloud
  • Lets you easily add photos and additional comments to your inspection checklists, giving assessors and contractors more context for issues
  • Gives you an easy way to report issues observed during property inspections and reach a solution collaboratively
  • Helps you schedule each step in an apartment turnover process with intuitive and centralized administration
  • Gives you access to thousands of premade templates you can use for anything from HVAC maintenance to bathroom cleaning to pest control
  • Creates automatic weekly and monthly reports that summarize completed inspections and conveniently analyze results


tenant unlocking their apartment door



What is an apartment turnover checklist?

And apartment turnover checklist is a document that helps make sure you don’t skip any details when inspecting a property after your tenant leaves. It allows you to prepare the property for new tenants.

What are the steps in an apartment turnover?

First, your tenant will send you a notice to vacate and return their keys. Then, you conduct a move-out inspection, determine any damage caused to the apartment, and fix it, as well as clean the property.

Who benefits from apartment turnover checklists?

Both you and your tenants benefit from apartment turnover checklists being used in the handover process. More clarity and deeper inspections means a better understanding of property conditions for everyone involved, and using a checklist makes communication easy.

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