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Apartment Turnover Checklist for Smoother Turnover Processes

Robyn Neath
by Robyn Neath | August 08, 2022 | Reading time: 3 minutes

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.

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What is an Apartment Turnover Checklist?


An apartment turnover checklist is a detailed list of tasks necessary when a tenant ends their lease and decides to move out. The apartment turnover process includes a move-out inspection, compliance inspections, and repair and maintenance. A property management turnover checklist ensures you conduct all the vital tasks and responsibilities in the apartment turnover process to reduce vacancy time.


An apartment turnover checklist makes you more thorough. Whether it is your first time conducting an apartment turnover or you've done it thousands of times, it is a necessary and valuable tool. Preparing a property management turnover checklist before your tenant moves out is a secret only savvy property managers know. They are ready to conduct the turnover process before the lease ends.


A properly executed turnover prepares your rental property for the next tenant. The process can take a few days to a couple of weeks. It involves a walk-through of the apartment where you look for issues, take notes, and correct them. Designing a customized apartment turnover checklist guarantees the proper restoration of your apartment, making it attractive to new tenants.


Completing a property management turnover checklist takes time, but having the right tools can help speed up the process. Digital lists streamline the turnover process so you can save time and money. As the name suggests, a make-ready checklist for apartments prepares your rental property for new occupants, making your business more profitable because the longer the vacancy, the more money you lose.



In this article, you will learn:


1. The benefits of an apartment turnover checklist


2. What an apartment turnover means


3. The step-by-step apartment turnover process


4. What to include in an apartment turnover checklist


5. Effortless, easy to use app that makes apartment turnovers a breeze



property owner holding keys to rental apartment

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Why Use an Apartment Turnover Checklist?


A quick once-over isn't enough to determine the actual condition of your property after a rental period. You might see some of the damage, but some issues are not easily noticeable.


There are various compelling reasons why an apartment turnover checklist is essential. Thoroughly documenting the condition of the property can help you in different ways because you can use it as:


  • A proper document to help in case of insurance issues
  • Evidence in case you need proof of damages in a court proceeding
  • Guide for making sure you cover all areas of the property when conducting the apartment turnover process
  • A communication tool between you and the tenant, making sure all parties are happy with the turnover process


What is Apartment Turnover?


Apartment turnover, also called rental turnover, refers to when a tenant moves out and the property is vacant until another tenant moves in. Your apartment is not earning from rent during this period, but you still need to pay the bills and costs of maintaining the property. Landlords work hard to keep vacancy periods short because maintenance expenses are high.


Property turnover is a vital part of property management. How quickly and adequately the task is done dramatically impacts your bottom line. A standard procedure and a property turnover checklist make it easy to manage property turnovers.



What is the Process for Property Turnover?


Preparing for a new tenant begins when the current tenant gives the notice to vacate. The process includes tasks and responsibilities such as cleaning and inspections.


Here's how the process goes:


Tenant Gives the Notice to Vacate


The notice to vacate is a document signed by the tenant notifying the landlord of their intent to leave the rental property when the contract ends. Once received, you provide them with move-out instructions, including cleaning specifications and instructions for leaving the keys or providing a forwarding address to return their deposit.


Tenant Returns the Keys


The tenant officially surrenders the possession of the property once they return their keys.


Move Out Inspection


You can do the move-out inspection simultaneously with the tenant returning the keys. The tenant has the right to witness the property assessment.


Your apartment property management turnover checklist must include the steps involved in a move-out inspection. And whoever inspects the apartment must document their findings through photos. The ability to upload pictures is one reason a digital apartment turnover checklist is better than the paper version.


Determine Damages


Recording and documenting the identified damages is necessary, especially if you want to hold back the tenant's security deposit.


Complete Repairs and Maintenance


Once the property is vacant, repair the damages immediately or make upgrades if necessary.


Property Cleaning


A thoroughly clean home is attractive to prospective tenants. An apartment turnover cleaning checklist helps ensure you cover all areas if you choose to do the cleaning yourself.


However, it is best to hire a professional cleaning company to clean the property deeply. They have the tools and knowledge to do the job properly and quickly.


Compliance Inspections


Get the necessary compliance certificates. Some of the inspections required of rental properties in most states are lead inspection and water testing.



What Must Be Included in an Apartment Turnover Checklist


A standard apartment turnover checklist expedites the turnover process. It also ensures you have all issues covered. Some of the most common items your apartment turnover checklist must address are:


Changing the Locks


There is no guarantee the tenant turned over all keys or does not still have any access to your property. Changing the locks can give you and the new tenants peace of mind. It would be best if you changed the locks once the old tenant moved out.


Service or Replace Appliances


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


Apartment Turnover Maintenance Checklist


  • Replace air and water filters
  • Water pressure and drains inspection
  • Appliance repair and maintenance
  • Hardware repair and maintenance

Repair and Paint Walls


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


Common Repairs


A vacancy is an ideal time to tune up your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It is also the perfect time to do the following tasks:


  • 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 between tenants is an excellent idea because you can use it as a selling point.



happy tenant in their apartment

An App for Efficient Apartment Turnover Process


Performing your apartment turnover process is a walk in the park with Lumiform's inspection app. The app lets you access your apartment turnover checklist or apartment turnover cleaning checklist using a smartphone or tablet - online or offline, providing your team with clear instructions on corrective actions and next steps. The desktop software lets you design your checklist or use one of the built-in templates, guiding inspectors throughout the turnover process. Standardized inspections and data analysis identify issues in a snap, decreasing turnover rates and increasing profits.


Rental property businesses can benefit from Lumiform's various features, such as:


  • Customizable templates and flexible form builder that allows you to create apartment turnover checklists in minutes
  • A reporting tool that provides comprehensive information, including photos and notes
  • efficient team communication, cooperation with external partners, and coordination with top-level management
  • Electronic signatures on documents for agreement and legal purposes
  • Customizable languages and locations for businesses with several locations, allowing you to assign users and checklists for each business location
  • The issue management feature saves time by directly raising issues to the team through the apartment turnover checklist app
  • Assignment and tracking feature speeds up corrective actions execution, solving issues quicker



tenant unlocking their apartment door


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Robyn Neath

Robyn Neath

Robyn started her writing career after receiving her screenwriting diploma from InFocus Film School in Vancouver, BC. She has since worked for esteemed sports, casting, and news organizations. When she isn’t concentrating on generating content with Lumiform, she enjoys working on her sitcom scripts and entering them into writing competitions. She has a strong interest in the arts, and can usually be found re-watching Frasier or stumbling her way through The New York Times daily crossword.

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