Eddie Beekman   |  October 8, 2018


The tenant takeover can be a daunting task. From first glance, there seems to be a lot of details involved. But fret not! The steps to the perfect tenant takeover are important, but not hard.

When Does a Tenant Takeover Occur?

  • Changing management companies
  • Buying an occupied rental property
  • Self-managing an occupied rental property

Step 1: Collect Information

Before we complete the tenant takeover, there are a number of items that need to be collected. Depending on your situation, you will collect these from the property owner, realtor, or current management company. If you are switching management companies, your new management company will complete most of these steps for you.

1. Keys

Obviously you will need these… But make sure to get all house keys, shed keys, garage door openers and keys for any other locks on the property.

2. Leases

There should be a current lease for everybody that’s currently in the occupied units.

3. Contact Information

Phone numbers, names and email addresses. Really push to get both phone numbers and emails. There are times when you will want to use both to communicate.

4. Security Deposits

This is where it gets legal. If you don’t understand security deposit law or how to handle a security deposit, make sure to consult with an attorney (we are not attorneys). The security deposit needs to follow the tenant because that is the tenant’s money until they move out. At that time you can make a claim against it in the form of damages or unpaid charges.

5. Check-In Sheet or Inventory Check-In Sheet

This may vary by area, but in the West Michigan market it is required to give one to a tenant at move in. These are important so we know what damages to charge for and what damages we shouldn’t charge for at move out.

Step 2: Get In Contact

This step is important: Don’t Be a Stranger. First impressions are important, so make sure your first interaction with your soon-to-be tenant is a positive experience! With the information we gathered, we make SURE we get in contact with our new tenant. We do all of the following:

  • Send them an email.
  • Snail mail them a letter
  • Call them
  • Text them

We want them to know that we have taken over management of their unit. We reiterate when rent is due and how to pay it. Because our company is dependent on the efficiency of our processes, we also educate our new tenant on how those processes work.

Laws Vary By Location

One final thing to mention is that there may be different laws depending on where you live. You may have to handle the security deposit, communication or leases in a certain way if the unit changes ownership. Make sure to reach out to a local attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant law to get this right.

Quick Note About Set Up Fees

At Access Property Management Group, we complete tenant takeovers for no charge. So if you come to us with an occupied unit, we don’t charge any setup or change over fees to perform the tenant takeover. This may be something you want to ask if you are looking for a new property manager.

Thank you for checking out our blog!

About the author

Eddie Beekman is the founder of "Give Your Clients Your Cell Number", because he believes there is no reason for poor communication! He tackles the daily management and maintenance issues that arise in the operations at APMG. Eddie is an excellent video blogger and likes to add humor to his videos. After 18 years of Property Managment you think you've heard it all, until tomorrow and it starts over.Have questions you'd like to bounce off Eddie? Just give him a call or drop him a question through our contact form and he'll be in touch ASAP!