Property Managers!! * Make life EASIER - Use a RESIDENT HANDBOOK

By
Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

With over 40 years in the biz, one thing I really appreciate that makes my life easier * in addition to using PROMAS software and having HomeRentals.net host my website * is the use of a Resident Handbook. 

I originally received a copy of my good friend Rachel Lindsay of Charleston, SC's Tenant Handbook over 10 years ago and I have revised it, expounded on it, added to it and incorporated it BY REFERENCE into my 6-page lease.

I print the handbook on 3-hold paper and put it in a 3/8inch 3-ring binder from Office Depot.  I also include our Move-in Inspection Checklist sheet; 13 size #6 self-addressed envelopes for rental payments, a reminder postcard for residents to Change Utilities * Provide us with updated Contact Information * Complete and submit their inspection checklist AND a USPS Moving/Mail Forwarding packet and flyer/10% coupon from 1-800-Got-Junk.  I include the EPA/HUD mandated lead based paint pamphlet AND the 2-page Fact Sheet whether the property requires it on not.  This is the table of contents for my 2009 revised handbook:

OUR PERSONAL MESSAGE TO YOU.................................................

I. GENERAL RULES & REGULATIONS

 

A. Part of Your Lease.......................................................................................1

 

 

B. The Property..............................................................................................1

C. Rental Payments.........................................................................................1

D. Contact Phone Numbers/E-Mail Address..........................................................1

E. Returned Checks.........................................................................................1

F. Default of Rental Payment............................................................................2

G. Breaking Your Lease...................................................................................2

H. Keys And Locks..........................................................................................2

I. Trash, Garbage and Recycling.......................................................................2

J. Disturbances, Noise and Nuisance.................................................................3

K. Move-In/Move-Out Checklists......................................................................3

L. Periodic Property Inspections.......................................................................3

M. Parking & Vehicles.....................................................................................3

N. Guests....................................................................................................3

O. Emergency Maintenance/Repairs.................................................................3

P. Insurance................................................................................................3

Q. Pets.......................................................................................................3

R. Security Alarm/Video/Television/Satellite Dishes.............................................4

II. WHEN YOU FIRST MOVE IN 

 

 

A. Get to Know Your Property........................................................................4

B. Put this Handbook Where You Can Find it.....................................................4

III. IN & AROUND THE HOUSE

 

 

A. Country Living........................................................................................4

B. Heat/ACUnits & Smoke Detectors...............................................................4

C. Circuit Breakers/Fuses.............................................................................5

D. Extermination........................................................................................5

IV. MAINTENANCE, DAMAGE & REPAIR

 

 

A. Report Maintenance Requests in the Proper Manner.....................................6

B. Who Does What.....................................................................................6

C. Unauthorized Repairs.............................................................................6

D. Lawns & Grounds Maintenance................................................................7

E. Light Bulbs...........................................................................................7

F. Plumbing/Septic Systems.........................................................................7

G. Window Coverings..................................................................................7

 Walls & Ceilings........................................................................................7

I. Vinyl Floor Coverings/Hardwood Floors......................................................7

J. Carpet Care..........................................................................................8

K. Stoves.................................................................................................8

L. Dishwashers..........................................................................................8

M. Garbage Disposals.................................................................................8

N. Washer/Dryer Hookups...........................................................................8

 

 

V.  CLEANING & HOW TO'S

 

 

A. Minimum Cleaning Standards...................................................................9

B. Counter Tops & Cabinets........................................................................9

C. Kitchen Appliances.................................................................................9

D. Fireplaces............................................................................................9 

VI. MOVING OUT

 

 

A. Marketing During the Notice Period.........................................................10

B. The Move-Out/Check Out.....................................................................10

C. Return of Your Security Deposit.............................................................11

 

VII.  EMERGENCY/DISASTER PROCEDURES

 

 

 

A. Winter Weather..................................................................................11

B. Flooding.............................................................................................11 

 

APPENDIX A * URGENT but NON-DISASTER EMERGENCY............................13

APPENDIX B * DISASTER PLAN.................................................................14

APPENDIX C * DISASTER PLAN - TENANT FORM..........................................15 .........................16 & 17

HOW to GET UTILITY SERVICE in CENTRAL VIRGINIA  CHARLOTTESVILLE & ALBEMARLE

 

 

EPA/HUD Fact Sheet * March, 1996..................................................................2 Pages 

 

Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home * June * 2003..............................16 Pages

Wallace S. Gibson CPM * Over 40 years of property management experience to serve you * We are now leasing homes for the summer 2009 rental season.... http://VAHomes4Rent.com ...finding your new rental home in Central Virginia just got easier!!

 

 

Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  

LandlordWhisperer

View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous

 

Comments (10)

Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Even though my "property management" is limited to the multi-family I own I find this *very* helpful. Thanks for posting it. It's so easy to not think of what you should tell tenants until a problem comes up. Much better to have it for them in advance.

Liz

Jan 11, 2009 11:27 AM
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL
SFR, SRES, CNC

Looks like this manual should have it ALL covered.  A "Preventative Rental Disasters Book"  Excellent Post.  Thanks for sharing it in the Property Management group!  This will be featured

Jan 12, 2009 09:10 AM
Josh Holt
RE/MAX Coast To Coast~ Dedicated to You! - Berwick, ME
Southern Maine and NH Real Estate - Your Source of Info on the Berwicks

Wallace- Great Blog. Glad to have found it. Put it at the top of my "must Read" pile...

Jan 13, 2009 08:43 AM
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

Wallace, this is great! Thanks so much for posting the info. I'm going to make sure my daughter reads this and incorporates it in our rental handbook.

Jan 16, 2009 04:20 PM
Tyson Bradley
Keller Williams Realty - Virginia Beach, VA

Wow, Wallace, what an excellent ideal.  I had never thought of that.  Talk about saving a lot of phone calls and headaces.  Thanks for sharing!

Jan 21, 2009 08:24 AM
League City, TX - Worrell Team, REALTORS, GRI, CNE
RE/MAX 1st Class - League City, TX

THis is a great idea.... and now I'm working on one of my own.  Thanks!

Jan 25, 2009 04:06 PM
Kenneth Kujawa
Century 21 Signature Realty - Saginaw, MI
CCIM, MICP

Thank you for sharing this information.

This is very helpful.

 

Jan 30, 2009 07:06 AM
Hannah Chan, GRI
Hannah Chan,CDPE,GRI CRS, CLHMS( Cary-Raleigh Realty, Inc) - Cary, NC
Broker with a Serving Heart!

Great Post!! I would love to start my own Rental Handbook so save my time in future....

 

Feb 22, 2009 01:40 PM
George You
Mission Sands Realty - San Diego, CA

Great Post.  Can I get a copy of your tenant handbook?  Is it accessible anywhere on-line?

Feb 25, 2009 01:02 AM