A welcome letter is cheap but effective way to connect with your tenant and set the tone for the relationship. Not only is it an opportunity to make them feel at home, it’s also a great way to provide information about the property and lease. A welcome letter shows that you are a landlord who cares about the property and the people living in it. This doesn’t mean you and your tenant need to become pen pals, it’s just a courtesy that has multiple benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about what to include in your welcome letter to your tenant.
What to include
How to set up utilities
This lets the tenant know they are responsible for utilities. It may also be helpful to include the names of certain providers for electricity, gas, telephone, and internet. Doing so can be hugely beneficial to someone who may be new to the area.
Where to pick up keys
You might like to specify which keys are being provided ie. garage, gate, shed etc. This is also a good time to state that keys are the tenant’s responsibility and there will be a fee for the replacement of lost or stolen keys. Additionally, provide the relevant contact information for the real estate agency about where and when to collect the keys.
Details about move-in day
Include the lease start date and move-in day. It might also be helpful to offer suggestions on where to unload removalist vehicles for easy access on the day. This is particularly helpful if the property is on a busy street or there is limited parking facilities.
Move-in day checklist
This is a valuable document that all tenants should fill out within the first three days of their lease. The checklist allows tenants to report any damages prior to their tenancy, and allows the landlord to assess at the end of the lease to make sure any potential damages are compensated.
How to pay rent
Most tenants will have paid rent in advance prior to moving in. But it’s a good idea to state when rental payments are due and how much they will be per week/fortnight.
How to report maintenance issues
If you wish to use a particular company for repairs and maintenance, provide their contact details in the welcome letter. Otherwise, inform the tenant that they can simply contact the real estate agency and their request will be handled promptly.
Where to dispose of rubbish and what day garbage is collected
There’s nothing worse than missing garbage collection day! As a courtesy, let your new tenant know which day rubbish and recycling are collected, and which bins to use.
If there is allocated parking, either garage or bays, inform your tenant where to find it. If parking is on the street, you should let your tenant know about any potential council infringements, and to be mindful of other residents in the street.
It’s not all rules and regulations! Tenants new to the area will really appreciate a bit of local knowledge and guidance on what they can do. Mentioning parks, cafes, restaurants and shops helps support local businesses and makes the tenant feel welcome in their new community.
Condition of the property
Laying down the foundations of what you expect for the property upkeep shows the tenant that you respect the property and they should too. Feel free to provide details on professional cleaning services or tips on how to keep the property well cared for.
Finally, leave either your contact information if you wish, or the name and details of the property manager representing you. Also include business hours and an after hours number in case of emergency.
Some landlords like to go the extra mile and give their new tenant a move-in gift. This doesn’t have to be extravagant, just a little something to show your appreciation and to make them feel welcome. Some suggestions include:
- Baked goods – just make sure there are no nuts or other common allergy triggers
- Selection of tea or coffee
- Plants – low maintenance, hard-to-kill plants work best and help brighten the property
- Light bulbs – particularly useful if there are permanent light fixtures that require certain bulbs
- Furniture felt pads – these send the message that you care about the condition of both their furniture and your floors, reinforcing the fact that property condition is important to you.
- Avoid alcohol – you never really know the private details of who is moving in. It’s best to steer clear of anything that is illegal for under 18 years or could trigger an addiction.
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