Well, this last turnover turned out pretty well — possibly the best so far. I sent out one cosigner application (I really only needed one additional guarantor), and received a complete application from not one, but two parents of the couple moving in. (Maybe each father wanted to be on equal financial footing if things were to go awry?). I pulled credit reports on both guarantors, and they both checked out just fine. I scheduled a lease signing, got a check for the security deposit, and received signed and notarized cosigner agreements within a week. The couple really seemed genuinely excited about the duplex, and it seemed cute that it was their first place that they would have together.
Also, the tenants who were moving out had gotten a new apartment for the month before their lease was up. They hired movers for the 15th of the month, which meant that even if they didn’t have ALL of their stuff out, I could have a relatively leisurely period for routine maintenance (unlike the overnighers I’ve previously been pulling). I got in early to repaint the kitchen. (My new tenants’ only request was that the kitchen not be bright yellow, which I thought was a fair request. Previous tenants had painted the apartment and made pretty good color choices, excepting the kitchen.) When they moved out for good and we had a final walkthrough on the 29th, the apartment was pretty much in impeccable condition. They had washed windows, cleaned ceiling fans and blinds, touched up the walls and cleaned immaculately. There was really very little for me to do — change the batteries in the smoke alarms, sand down the bottom of a door that was brushing the floor in one room (it’s an old, uneven house), and tighen up a couple of doorknobs. When the new tenants called, asking if they could possibly move in a day early, I was able to let them in with no caveats.
So far, they’ve worked out great. They did take a little chip out of the wall in the entryway when they were moving in, but that’s a pretty small complaint. They’ve been on time with rent, quiet, friendly, and have even taken the dumpster out on trash day a few times. What I like about them the most is that they’ve actually been making use of the backyard, too. Other tenants have treated the upstairs unit as more of an apartment, and these two seem to be actually living in the whole space — which leads me to believe that they may be here for a longer term.