So, you’ve found the perfect tenant. Now it’s time to help them settle in. One of the best ways to do that is by sending your tenant a welcome letter.
Why Should You Send a Welcome Letter?
Move-in is a great opportunity to reach out to your tenant(s) and make them feel at home. Not only that, but you can also re-emphasize important information about the property and lease. This is just the beginning of your landlord-tenant relationship, so you want to make sure you start off on the right foot.
Your welcome letter will help tenants remember the property rules and follow them accordingly. You’ll also be able to answer questions before they’re even asked. In addition, you’ll make a good impression and tenants will view you as a helpful and professional landlord.
What to Include in Your Letter
- How to set up utilities and use them
- A reminder about renter’s insurance (if you require it)
- Where to pick up keys
- Details about move-in day
- How to pay rent and utilities
- How to report maintenance issues
- Where to throw away trash and what day trash is collected
- Measurements for things like the windows (in case tenants want to install curtains)
- Parking/towing information
- Neighborhood guidance
- Condition of the property
- Contact information
You should also include a “Move-in Checklist.” This is basically a document that your tenant will fill out when they arrive at the unit. They should specify the condition of the property, room by room, and be as detailed as possible. Any problems with the unit should be handled by maintenance promptly. The checklist will help identify damages, if any, caused by the tenant when they move out. That way, your tenant will only be charged with what they are responsible for. Damages in the unit that were already present upon move-in should be investigated, as they are most likely the responsibility of the previous tenant(s).
Here is an example of a Move-In Checklist.
When to Send the Letter
The best time to send out your welcome letter is after the tenant has signed the lease and before you give them the keys. Your tenant(s) should receive the letter 1-2 weeks prior to their move-in date. After all, the letter will contain important information regarding the move-in process.
Some tenants like to be proactive and get everything in order ahead of time. If you have a tenant reach out to your beforehand, asking questions about moving in, go ahead and send them the letter then. That way, you can already answer any other questions they might have.
How to Send it
The ideal method to send your welcome letter is email. It’s quick and usually the easiest way to reach people. You can include any relevant links and allow tenants to save the document and refer to it as needed.
It’s also a good idea to print out a copy and post it on your tenant’s door or leave it on the kitchen counter.
What it Should Look Like
Here’s a basic template of a tenant welcome letter. Feel free to use this one to get started with writing your own.
Hi [Tenant Name],
I’m so glad to be welcoming you to the property. I want to provide you with some information to help your move go smoothly and make you feel more at home.
You’re responsible for the [include specifics] utilities. Your utility cap is [$$$]. Make sure to keep track of it. Here are the providers in the area should you have any problems:
[If utilities are included, list the providers you use.]
If you haven’t set up your utilities yet, I recommend using My Utilities. They allow you to type in your new address and then pick and choose the utilities you need. You can just tell them what you want and they’ll coordinate everything on your behalf.
As stated in your lease, please keep in mind that renters insurance is required. [If it’s not required, recommend it.] While we have landlord insurance, this policy does not cover your belongings. I recommend getting renters insurance through [preferred provider].
Please text/email/call me at [contact info] the day before your lease begins [date], in order to arrange picking up your keys. Typically, if it’s during normal business hours, you can pick up your keys from my office at [address]. If it’s after hours, we can arrange something.
[Specify what keys are being provided i.e. mail key, gate key, bedroom key, etc.]
We expect that all sets of keys be returned at the end of the lease. There is a [$] fee if keys are lost or stolen since we’ll need to re-key the property for your safety and the safety of the other residents.
As we discussed, your lease start date and move-in date is [date]. Move-in time starts at [time] to allow our staff sufficient time to clean the property. We want to make sure we turn it over to you in great condition. [Include information about move-in help, like specifying if carts will be provided to move items.]
[Attach your move-in checklist here.]
You have already paid your first month’s rent, move-in fee, and/or pet fee. Your next payment will be due [date]. If you have any questions about paying rent, you can contact [name] at [contact info].
Payments are due on the [day] of the month. Anything received after the [day] of the month is considered late and will have a late fee of [$].
If there’s a maintenance issue or a necessary repair, please notify me as soon as you notice. I’ll schedule a repair and notify you when it will be fixed.
For any maintenance emergencies, please call me directly at [contact info] OR contact an emergency repairman directly at [contact info]. For other emergencies, please call 911.
Garbage and recycling are picked up from [area]. Please be sure to place all garbage into plastic bags and into the trash cans, so that rats and other pests can’t get in. The city is strict on trash left on the street or if the garbage can lids don’t close completely. Please be aware that you may get fined if you do not comply. Please also be sure not to put trash into the recycling bin.
Recycling – [Day(s)]
Garbage – [Day(s)]
There is parking available on [street/area]. [Specify if decals are needed and towing information.]
Welcome to [town, city, neighborhood]! To help you get familiarized with the area, I’ve listed a few of the main places nearby:
[Include a list of places like the nearest grocery store, parks, gyms, restaurants, bus stops, etc.]
Condition of the Property
We work very hard to make sure you have a welcoming, warm, and safe home. Before any tenant moves in, we repair anything that may have been broken during the prior tenant’s residency. We also hire a professional cleaning service before you move in. It’s important to us to provide a fresh start for you. We do expect that the property, at the end of the lease, is left in the same condition as when you move in.
I hope you will be happy in your new home! If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
After your tenant has picked up the keys and moved their stuff into the unit, make sure you receive the completed move-in checklist from them. From here on out, you should notify tenants of any changes on the property and maintain a good line of communication.