MIMO Procedures for the Rental Property: Why They’re Essential

Move-In and Move-Out procedures are some of the most neglected on the slate of things every landlord has to do.

Not surprisingly though, that MIMO time – maybe better called MOMI time because it’s the time BETWEEN tenants – is when you really have to stay on your toes.

In fact, there are very good reasons to specify Move-In and Move-Out days – down to the specific hours of day, right in your original lease document. Any vacancy is going to cost you, and cost you dearly. So the things you do between tenants are among the most important you’ll do during the entire life of the property.

Here’s the how and why of standardizing Move-Ins and Move-Outs.

Moving In

Lease signing is an opportunity to train a happy and profitable tenant. Tenant initials on every page of the lease are there for your protection and they’re the perfect time to review the tenant’s side of MIMO.

MIMO for the tenant takes place long after the majority of MIMO activities. Most of them take place when a previous tenant is moving out and when the property is vacant. Remember, that’s the time when the work gets done.

Inspections and checklists are everything, but at lease signing, it’s always a good idea to share the inspections results with the tenant. You can also suggest the costs of any repairs, or potential repairs. It’s a great way of getting new tenants aware of the costs and to instill the idea that they will be held accountable.

Moving Out

Move-In times, or lease signings, are also good times to make tenants aware of Move-Out procedures and what they need to do to receive their security deposit. That can include a Move-Out inspection and checklist, or as much procedure as you want to schedule into the process. In most cases, it won’t be final, and that lack of finality may need to be specified too.

But for the landlord, or the property manager, lots of things were waiting for just this time. Repairs, cleaning and inspections are all dependent on having full access to the property which often can’t happen when the unit is rented. So it’s up to you to know ahead of what you’re going to do and getting it done before you start losing money.

If a vacancy lasts more than about a day, you’re likely going to lose something. For some landlords, that’s ok. For smaller outfits, a lost month of rent is a big dent in your entire annual budget.

In short, MIMO needs to be standardized. That can mean lots of checklists and procedures, walk-throughs and photography, but it also means you’re always in the process of teaching your tenants how to make the system work – for them.  Make MIMO work for your tenants, and it will work for the property owner too. Every lease-signing is a moment to refine and improve the procedures so that they work better.