Documents for tenant move-in
Congratulations on your new tenants! Here are some documents to help you get a solid start by welcoming your new tenants and offering an inspection worksheet so that they can document the condition of the rental before they start living in it.
A friendly welcome can go a long way to making your tenants feel at home. With a Welcome Letter, you'll not only be able to remind new tenants about the key terms of their lease, but you'll also have the opportunity to provide pointers about trash and recycling days, or pre-empt other common questions that might arise. The Welcome Letter may also include an Inspection Checklist as well as a short checklist for you.
Renters Inspection Worksheet
Perhaps the most essential of all documents for a tenant's first day, the Renter's Inspection Worksheet gives your renter the opportunity to walk through their new home and note the condition of the unit, along with any pre-existing damage. If you will allow your tenant to complete the walkthrough without you being present, consider completing a Pre-Rental Inspection Checklist and taking photos before the tenant moves in. This can protect you against a tenant claiming the unit was damaged when it was not. When it comes time to move out, this will also help to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding any potential security deposit deductions.
A Renter's Inspection Worksheet may be required in your state. If it's required by your state or local law, you can fill it out using Rocket Lawyer on a mobile device while doing your move in walkthrough with your new tenant. After the walkthrough, you can use RocketSign® to have your tenant sign the inspection document.
Lead Disclosure Statement
For properties built in 1977 or earlier, a Lead Disclosure Statement may be required. If you know, suspect, or do not know whether the property contains lead paint, it is legally required to provide this statement along with the EPA's pamphlet entitled "Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home."
Documents for ongoing property management
Once your tenants are moved in, you'll want to stay on top of rents, rent increases, and maintenance issues. Here are some documents to help you communicate with your tenants and comply with local laws.
Some states require that tenants receive a Rent Receipt for the first month and every month afterward. Even if it isn't required by law, keeping track of rent payments is always a good idea. If you make a Rent Receipt and provide a copy to your tenant, you'll both have proof of payment for your accounting or in case a dispute arises.
Rent Increase Letter
Notifying your tenants in writing of a rent increase might also be required by state or local laws. This Rent Increase Letter makes it easy to communicate rent increases to your tenants and should be a part of every landlord's rental documents collection.
Hopefully you've cleaned the unit and made necessary repairs and updates prior to move-in day, but just in case a repair is needed later, your tenant will be well-prepared to contact you with a Maintenance Request Form. Our form allows you to make a blank form to distribute to your tenants so they may fill it out and give it to you when a repair or maintenance is required. You may want to give a copy to your tenant when they move in.
Landlord's Notice to Enter
When you or a maintenance or repair professional need to enter your tenant's unit, providing a Landlord's Notice to Enter ahead of time is not just courteous, it's typically legally required. Unless there is a real emergency, most states require at least 24 hours notice or more.
Documents for finding new tenants
Whether you're still considering tenant applications or preparing to welcome new tenants into your rental, it pays to have all of your rental paperwork in order, including your pre-rental documents. Here are some documents you can use to evaluate prospective tenants and gather and handle security deposits.
Before you offer a prospective tenant a Lease Agreement, it is important to make sure that they can afford the rent and can follow the rules you may want to set. A Rental Application can help provide a clear picture of a tenant's financial situation, prior rental history, and more. If the tenant has a pet, you may also want to request they complete a Pet Application for Rental, so you can evaluate whether their pet would make a good fit for your property.
Security Deposit Receipt
If your prospective tenant is qualified, and wants to sign a Lease Agreement before move-in, you may want to collect the security deposit at the time of signing. It's a best practice — and sometimes it's even legally required — to document that your tenant's security deposit was received and to provide details on where the funds will be stored. You can easily and quickly get this done with our Security Deposit Receipt.
Want to know if it's legally required to provide a Security Deposit Receipt in your state or local area? Ask a lawyer before you accept the deposit.
The documents in this guide are but a small portion of landlord documents that Rocket Lawyer offers. We have documents for nearly every part of your landlord business, plus a lot more, including e-signatures and tax filing services.
Need more guidance? Ask a lawyer.
Landlord-tenant laws vary by state and sometimes even by municipality, so if you have specific questions about your unique rental or about the laws in your state, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.