Inside T&H: Managing the Move-In

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“We have an approved application on your home..”

Ah, music to an investor’s ears.

Getting the news that your property is about to be occupied is probably the best thing you’ll hear all day.

However, there are a lot of steps to take between approving an applicant, and the physical move-in.

Not to burst your bubble, but there are quite a few things that can go wrong during the time an applicant is approved and the actual move-in.

You just can’t predict the future when you’re dealing with such a wide variety of individuals.

But not to worry.

We have developed a system that helps mitigate potential issues, and our team is a well-oiled machine that works together to provide a smooth process for potential Tenants.

So, once we have an approved application on your home, here’s what happens next.


Once we approve an application, our Leasing Coordinator will reach out to the applicants to inform them of our decision. In some cases, the applicant has had a change of heart: their moving plans have changed, they found something that checks a few more boxes, etc.

Assuming the applicants are still on board, the first order of business is to discuss the security deposit required along with the move-in date.

As you know, we oftentimes, because of certain risk factors, require a deposit that exceeds one month’s rent. And sometimes, this will cause an applicant to back out.

That’s OK.

We never, because of Fair Housing reasons, waiver on the required Security Deposit. That might seem punitive, but we’re here to protect your interests.

Requiring a higher deposit on a riskier applicant makes sense, and has saved our Clients money many, many times.

If everyone is on board with both the move-in date and Security Deposit, the Leasing Coordinator will send the Lease out for signature.

In order to be able to schedule a move-in time, all applicants must complete the following:

  • Sign the lease within 48 hours of receipt
  • Pay the security deposit in full within 24 hours of lease signing or qualified Residents must be signed up for Rhino, the alternative security deposit option
  • Have all utilities put in their name and email confirmation to Leasing Coordinator
  • Take out a Renters Insurance policy and email confirmation to Leasing Coordinator

Once these items have been completed, the Leasing Coordinator will contact the Tenant to schedule the move-in time.

The Tenant is also required to pay first month’s rent at least 72 hours prior to move-in.


Just as we have to ensure the Tenant is ready for move-in, we have to ensure the property is ready for move-in as well.

Once the lease has been signed and the Security Deposit has been paid, the Leasing Coordinator will have a Property Manager visit the home within 5 business days to conduct a move in 2walk-thru. applicant move-in

This walk-thru, which we internally call a “5-day” serves two main purposes:

  1. It ensures that no last minutes issues have come up with the property and it is 100% ready for its new Tenants.
  2. To document the condition of the home and create a report for our file. This report will be used to compare at the move-out and will determine how the Security Deposit will be disbursed.

If we find any last-minute issues, we’ll dispatch Contractors to resolve them.

Note: It is our standard process to have a touch-up clean conducted at this time to provide the best experience to the Tenant. Even though the property may have been cleaned during the Turnover process, it’s likely going to need a final cleaning due to the foot traffic from showings.


Once the approved applicant has turned in all required information and documentation, the Leasing Coordinator will schedule a time for the Tenant to come to our office to pick-up keys and go over a few important details. Sometimes, The tenant is unable to come to our office during business hours. We do offer Remote or Lockbox move-in’s. 1 of 3 scenarios will occur next: keys

  1. Tenant comes to our office – We always encourage new Tenants to come to our office for an in-person meeting. During this time, we will provide the keys, review key points of the Lease, provide all necessary contact information, and answer any additional questions.
  2. Tenant Receives a Lockbox Code – If the Tenant cannot make it into our office during Close up of a man receiving a handshake and a key at the same time normal business hours, then the Leasing Coordinator can provide a lockbox code on the day of move-in. This way, the Tenants can go directly to the home and get the keys out of the lockbox we will have on the door.
  3. Tenant is Late to our Office – If, for whatever reason, a Tenant is late getting to our office for their move-in meeting, the Leasing Coordinator can leave the keys in a designated lock box outside of our office and provide a code for them to get their keys.


After that, the Tenant moves in and we begin management. There are two important items to understand at this point:

  1. Leasing Fee – As you should know, we will retain the Tenant’s first month’s rent as our Leasing Fee. So, on your first statement, you will see income titled “First Month’s Rent” and a corresponding Leasing Fee to T&H Realty Services.
  2. Move-In Maintenance – Inevitably, your Tenant will find some issues that need addressed. No matter how well a property is prepared, the real-life, kicking-the-tires actions of actually living there will oftentimes reveal some maintenance issues that need to be taken care of. We instruct Tenants to submit one work order for these issues. While sometimes it’s not possible, we like to send one Vendor to take care of any move-in issues to save you money.

Again, while there are a number of issues that can potentially go wrong during the course of a move-in, we are here to streamline the process as much as possible for all parties involved.

About the Author

Jeremy Tallman

Jeremy is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Broker for T&H Realty Services. He has been active in the Central Indiana real estate market since 2000 and leads one of the most successful single-family property management companies in the state.

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