To properly start off a relationship with your tenants and to show you're a professional landlord, it's a good idea to send a tenant welcome letter. Doing so sets a positive tone and can help you and your tenant work together to successfully address any issues that might later arise.
Sending a “welcome to the neighborhood" letter is also practical because you can include information about moving in. Send the letter by post or email a few weeks before the move-in date and leave a copy in the apartment for the tenant's arrival.
Contents of a tenant welcome letter
A tenant welcome letter provides an informal way for a landlord to say hello or a more formal way to provide helpful information. The document can refer to a list of apartment rules and regulations and include a checklist of the unit's move-in condition.
A comprehensive letter can include some or all of the following:
- A welcome to the apartment and the neighborhood. This should sound friendly, with the hope that the tenants will enjoy living in the building.
- The managing agent's and your contact information. Include phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and the hours the office is open.
- Enclosures or attachments to the letter. Provide copies of the lease, apartment rules and regulations, and the moving-in checklist.
- The rent due date. List the amount of rent, if desired, and whether the tenant can mail it, drop it off, or pay it online. Also let the tenant know about any late fees.
- How to obtain keys to the unit. If the landlord will not be at the unit during move-in, explain how the tenant can get the keys, such as picking them up at the office. Also list how much it costs to replace lost keys.
- Information about utilities. Remind the tenants which utilities are and are not included in rent payments. For those utilities that are not included, provide a list of local providers, such as the area's cable or internet service, telephone service, electric and gas or oil service, and water company. Explain when the city collects garbage and recyclables, where the tenants need to leave them, and any related rules, such as a prohibition on satellite dishes.
- How to request repairs. Let the tenants know how to request repairs and that they should send the request as soon as there's an issue. Also provide information about emergencies, such as calling you immediately but following up with a written request.
- Rules and regulations. This includes apartment noise rules, laundry room information, and apartment pet rules. Other subjects you may want to address include your policy about having guests, candles or incense, smoking, and giving strangers the keys. Be thorough so that there is no confusion later on.
- Parking information. Let the tenant know where their designated space is in your parking lot, if applicable. If parking does not come with the unit, refer the tenant to the city clerk for street parking information; otherwise, they may try to hold you responsible if you provide incorrect information and they get a ticket or their car gets towed. Also, be sure to provide parking information for move-in, such as not blocking certain entrances.
- A request that the tenants provide their contact information as soon as possible. You don't want to be caught in a situation where you need to get a hold of your tenant immediately and don't know how to reach them.
- Advice to get renters' insurance. Explain that, while you have insurance on the building, it doesn't cover the tenant's personal belongings.
- A reminder to keep the premises in good condition. Make sure they know it is their responsibility to keep the apartment sanitary and clean.
- How to resolve a conflict with a neighbor. If there's noise or another concern, you may want to have the tenant first try to resolve it on their own but contact you if the situation doesn't improve.
- A request to return the move-in checklist. Let them know when they need to return it by and whether you're going to have a walk-through inspection upon their moving in.
Other ways to welcome tenants
You can provide a small gift to the tenants, such as a bucket with some cleaning supplies or mugs with the city's name. While this isn't necessary, a small token goes a long way toward creating a solid relationship between you and your tenants, as landlord-tenant relationships are sometimes strained. A strained relationship creates havoc, causes tenants to break leases, and may even require court intervention.
Sending a welcome letter begins a good relationship between you and your tenants, which can help ensure a positive experience throughout the term of the tenancy, including when they move out. If you need help drafting a welcome letter, let an online service provider create one for you.