Checklist Items Landlords Should Complete for New Tenants

The Essentials to Prepare for a New Tenant

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••• Checklist Items Landlords Should Complete for New Tenants. Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images

Welcoming a new tenant into your property can be a hectic experience. Preparing a checklist of items you must complete whenever a new tenant moves in can make this experience far less stressful. Since every landlord has different needs, different rules for their rental property and different requirements under their state’s landlord tenant law, it will be helpful to customize the items on your list. Below you can view a sample checklist to get you started.

What Is a New Tenant Checklist?

A new tenant checklist is simply a list of bullet points that a landlord must complete before a new tenant moves into his or her apartment. The purpose of this list is to make sure the landlord does not forget any important steps before and during tenant move in. 

3 Times You May Need to Use This Checklist

  • When You Buy a New Rental Property- You will need to find new tenants for all of the available rental units in the property.


  • When Tenant Lease Expires- If a tenant's lease expires and they have given notice to terminate the rental agreement, you will need to find a new tenant to fill this vacancy. 


  • After Tenant Eviction- If a tenant has violated the terms of their lease agreement, you must file to evict the tenant. You must then search for a new tenant to live in your rental. 

What to Include in Your New Tenant Checklist

The items that you will want to include in your new tenant checklist will vary greatly from landlord to landlord. It will depend heavily on the specific procedures you have for screening tenants, how in depth your lease agreement is and the steps involved during move in. 

You can and should create a list that is unique to your rental property. For example, your state may require you to provide a tenant with written notice after you receive their security deposit. If your state has this requirement, it should be included in this checklist. Another example would be, if your property was built after 1978, you are not required to provide any lead paint disclosures to your tenants, so you can leave this item off your checklist.

Below you will find an example of a new tenant checklist. This list is only an outline of some useful ways to prepare for a new tenant. It can be broken down into five basic categories:


Steps 1-8: Tenant Screening

Steps 9-16: Lease Procedures

Steps 17- 19: Financial Considerations

Steps 20- 24: Preparing the Property

If Applicable: Any Extra Requirements in Your Lease or For a Specific Tenant


Sample New Tenant Checklist

Tenant(s) Name(s):________________________________________

Property Address:_____________________________________

Unit Number:_________________________________________

Move-In Date:________________________________________


1._____ Received Rental Application

2._____ Started a New Physical Folder for Tenant

3._____ Started a New Digital Folder for Tenant

4._____ Background Check Completed

5._____ Credit Check Completed

6._____ Received Employment Verification Form

7._____ Received Previous Landlord Verification Form

8._____ Made Copies of Back and Front of Tenant(s) ID(s)

9._____ Explained All Rules and Procedures to Tenant

10.____ Explained Emergency Procedures to Tenant

11.____ Tenant Signed Lease Agreement

12.____ Tenant Signed Lease Agreement Addendums

              __________________________Which Ones?

13.____ Date Lease Agreement Signed

14.____ Date Lease Begins

15.____ Date Lease Ends

16._____ Provided Tenant With Your Contact Information

17.____ Received Entire Security Deposit via Certified Method

              __________Date Security Deposit Received

18.____ Received Entire First Month’s Rent via Certified Method

             __________Date First Month’s Rent Received

19. Y/N  Tenant Has Purchased Renter’s Insurance

20.____ Repaired Any Damage to Property

21.____ Cleaned Property

22.____ Tenant has Signed Rental Unit Condition Checklist

23.____ Changed Door Locks (If Applicable)

24.____ Transferred All Utilities to Tenant’s Name

             Utility:________ Date of Transfer:____________

             Utility:________ Date of Transfer:____________

             Utility:________ Date of Transfer:____________


If Applicable

1._______  Property Inspected for Certificate of Habitability

                 ________Date of Inspection

2._______  Received Deposit to Hold Agreement and Necessary Funds

3. _______ Pet Addendum Signed

4.________ Pet Deposit Received

5.________ Lead Disclosure Warning Signed (For Property Built Before 1978)

6.________ Gave Tenant “Protect Your Family from Lead Paint” Pamphlet

7.________ Section 8 Paperwork Received

                     _________Spoke With Section 8 Case Worker

                     ____Y/N__ Section 8 Inspection Occurred  ________Date of Inspection

                     __________Security Deposit Received From Section 8 Tenant


Date All Items Completed:___________________________

Signature of Landlord/Property Manager:_______________________