Maintenance Issues And Dealing With Parents

There are days as a property manager when I just roll my eyes as my fingers furiously type an email response. Today was one of those days.  Remember, having procedures in place will save you a lot of headaches! One such procedure is the move in inspection.


Move in procedure case study. Save yourself a lot of headaches! Click To Tweet


Tenant Move In Day 

I moved college students into a rental home and two weeks later I logged into the system and saw a new work order.  This work order had been put in by the mother of one of the student’s.


In the work order, she stated the following:
“The burners on the stove are dangerously dirty. It looks as if they have never been cleaned. The oven needs to be cleaned too. The cupboards have grease and dirt on them that were also not cleaned before the boys moved in.”


As a property manager, I make sure that my rental homes are clean before any tenants move in. If the previous tenant does not leave the home move in ready clean, then I hire someone to do make sure it is.  My cleaning crews typically take pictures when they are finished. These photos are added to the property folder in Drop Box.

Luckily, my move in process is solid. I have a written move in inspection and pictures of the entire house. Part of the move in process is to make sure to get pictures of all appliances, all cabinets, all mini blinds, etc.  I make sure and get a close up of the interior of all appliances and cabinets as well as the range cooktop and door.

I put together an email to this parent and explained that the appliance and the cabinets were clean at the time of the move in inspection.  Her son did not attend the move in inspection but another student did. The stove was operated and inspected.  All of the cabinet doors are opened and closed to check for proper operation.  The stove or the cabinets were clean at the move in inspection. I went to my Drop Box account, pulled up pictures of the stove and cabinets and sent them to the mother. The picture of the stove top was enlarged to show that it was clean!

She did respond later in the day with:

“Thank you. Honestly, when I was there this weekend they were
disgusting. I will talk to my son.”


Mad Parent

In all fairness, I don’t blame her for being upset that the stove was so dirty. She did not attend the move in inspection and did not see the home prior to them moving in. I strongly recommend that everyone attend the move in inspections. The reality is that these students are in college and this is not the first house they have rented from us.  Students tend to be independent and while I try to insist that the parents attend a move in, they don’t always make the time to do so.  They skipped the move in this time because the students moved from a large house to a smaller house. In the previous house, there were no issues with the appliances so apparently the tenant that didn’t move with them was the cleaner!

This is a perfect example of why you need to have a move in process that is very detailed. Remember to follow it every single time! I respond to emails and texts like this all the time! It gets very frustrating but is much easier to make go away if you have pictures.


Do you have move out letters to send to your tenants who have given notice? If not, you need them!  Grab two letters and a price list below.