Mock Tenant Screening

I just finished what was supposed to be the Mock Tenant Screening class on June 20, 2017. However, for a number of reasons including that I just got back from vacation, the class was more a preview of the new Rental Application Evaluation Checklist tool I am creating.

Class on Mock Tenant Screening

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Determine who you will use to run credit and background checks on your tenants and tenant-buyers.

Mark this task as done when you determine who you'll use.

Dream TeamDream Team - Post-ClosingTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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If you have not already done so, determine who you will use to run credit and background checks on your Tenants and Tenant-Buyers.

Mark this task as done when you determine who you'll use.

Dream TeamDream Team - Post-ClosingPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Take some time to research the landlord-tenant laws for your city, county, and your state.

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Dream TeamDream Team - Post-ClosingPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Review the rules and regulations regarding service animals. Use the following links as a starting point.

HUD guidelines regarding Service Animals

https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/SERVANIMALS_NTCFHEO2013-01.PDF/

Article published by a Colorado based law firm on this

https://frascona.com/landlords-guide-to-handling-tenants-request-for-assistance-animals/

Consult your attorney when making any decisions or policies regarding the accommodation of persons with service animals as the laws may have been modified or changed.

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PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordRental ApplicationTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 48

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Review Fair Housing Act before writing your ad to make sure you do not violate any laws.

https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/DOC_11870.PDF

Be sure to check for any updates or modifications to this act.

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Advertise Property for RentMarketingPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Make sure you feel comfortable with the cash reserves you have for your rental property.

Most CPAs will recommend you have between 6 months and 12 months of your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and maintenance reserves for your property.

If you do not have this amount saved for your property, make it a goal to work on building up your account to have that for each rental property you have.

Mark this task as done when complete.

Dream TeamDream Team - Post-ClosingPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Find your local landlord group and attend meetings to stay abreast of the rental market and network with other landlords.

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Dream TeamDream Team - Post-ClosingPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Write out your own process for screening and approving tenants.

Plan ahead by considering all possible what-if scenarios you can think of and what you'd do in each situation before it happens. Write this out.

Mark this task complete when you have your process written out.

Prepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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If you're offering the property to a Tenant-Buyer on a Lease Option, write out your own process for screening and approving Tenant-Buyers.

Plan ahead by considering all possible what-if scenarios you can think of and what you'd do in each situation before it happens. Write this out.

Mark this task complete when you have your process written out.

Prepare to be a LandlordTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 43

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Get or create your own "Rental Application" to be used when tenants and/or tenant-buyers apply to rent your properties.

Use the Nomad "Rental Application" as a starting point:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/rental-application/

Mark this task complete when you have your own "Rental Application".

PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordRental ApplicationTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 48

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Get or create your own "Rental Application Evaluation Worksheet" to be used when tenants and/or tenant-buyers apply to rent your properties.

Use the Nomad "Rental Application Evaluation Worksheet" as a starting point:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/rental-application-evaluation-worksheet/

Mark this task complete when you have your own "Rental Application Evaluation Worksheet".

PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordRental Application Evaluation WorksheetTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 48

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Get or create your own "Rental Application Evaluation Criteria" to be used when tenants and/or tenant-buyers apply to rent your properties.

Use the Nomad "Rental Application Evaluation Criteria" as a starting point:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/rental-application-evaluation-criteria/

Mark this task complete when you have your own "Rental Application Evaluation Criteria".

PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordRental Application Evaluation CriteriaTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 48

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Watch the recording of the live presentation of "Tenant Screening" available on:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/tenant-screening/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

ClassesPrepare to be a LandlordTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 41

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Watch the recording of the live presentation of "Mock Tenant Screening" available on:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/mock-tenant-screening/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

ClassesLeaseLease OptionPrepare to be a LandlordProperty ManagementSolving Tenant ChallengesTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 42

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Get or create your own written "Tenant Evaluation Criteria" to be in compliance with Fair Housing Laws.

This is the written standards and approval process for whether a Tenant or Tenant-Buyer qualifies to rent your property.

Remember that you are about to loan someone an asset that is probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (the value of your property), so you should screen Tenants and Tenant-Buyers thinking that you're loaning them something that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to you. Personally, I'd even tell them that to set the right tone.

Mark this task complete when you have written "Tenant Evaluation Criteria".

PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 46

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Read through your "Tenant Evaluation Criteria" and highlight sections you have questions about. Write down your questions.

Mark this task complete once you've read through the "Tenant Evaluation Criteria" and documented your questions.

PaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 46

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Write out what questions you're going to ask when Tenants or Tenant-Buyers are calling in on your marketing.

Mark this task complete when you've got a written script of questions.

Prepare to be a LandlordScriptsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 54

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Practice your script for incoming calls from Tenants and/or Tenant-Buyers.

"Professionals practice off the field." The time to learn your script is not when you have a fully qualified, Tenant-Buyer with a large down payment on the phone.

Mark this task complete once you've run through your script enough times so that you feel comfortable with it.

Prepare to be a LandlordScriptsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 55

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Determine and write out the criteria that you'll use to evaluate a Tenant-Buyer.

Mark this task as complete when you have written evaluation criteria to be in compliance with Fair Housing Laws.

ASAPLeaseLease OptionPaperworkPrepare to be a LandlordTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 54

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Watch the recording of the live presentation of "Marketing for Tenants" available on:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/marketing-for-tenants/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

ClassesLeaseLease OptionPrepare to be a LandlordProperty ManagementTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 40Week 55

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If you haven't recently watched the live presentation of "Marketing for Tenants", you should review it again now:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/marketing-for-tenants/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

Advertise Property for RentLeaseLease OptionProperty ManagementTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 40Week 55

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If you haven't recently watched the live presentation of "Marketing for Tenants", you should review it again now:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/marketing-for-tenants/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

LeaseLease OptionProperty ManagementTake Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 40Week 55

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As calls come in on your marketing, field Tenant and Tenant-Buyer calls and answer questions about the property, complete initial telephone screening and schedule showings.

Do your screening early... in this first call... don't meet unqualified people at the property.

Some people prefer to ask Tenant or Tenant-Buyer for permission using something like this:

"I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the property."

"Then, if you don’t mind… if it seems like a property you'd be interested in... I’d like to ask you a few questions to see if you qualify for the property and… if you qualify… then we can schedule a time for you to see the property. Will that work for you?"

Mark this task complete when done.

Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Write down the answers to these initial screening questions that you'd ask the prospective Tenant/Tenant-Buyer on the first phone call.

Remember, we're trying to determine if the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer is qualified to borrow something worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and whether you're going to meet them at the property to show it.

  • What's your name? Phone number? Email?
  • Who will be living there besides yourself?
  • Do you have any pets? How many? What breeds? What size? Neutered/spayed?
  • Do you have good landlord references?
  • Are you renting now? How much do you pay? Why are you moving?
  • What is your approximate gross monthly income?
  • Any felonies or other convictions?
  • Any evictions?
  • How is your credit?
  • How long are you looking to stay?
  • When are you looking to move in?

Mark this task complete when done.

Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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If the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer seems to qualify based on asking the Initial Screening Questions on your initial phone call then let them know you're going to send over a video tour of the property along with a copy of the application.

Ask them to watch the video and look at the application and then confirm a time to meet them at the property for a showing.

If they don't reply back confirming they've watched the video, looked at the application and will be there for the showing time, do not go to the showing.

Mark this task complete when done.

Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Before confirming the showing, send the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer an email with a link to a video tour of the property that you've made and posted on YouTube along with a copy of the application.

They will need to confirm with you that they've seen the video and will be there at the showing before you drive out to meet them.

Mark this task complete when done.

Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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After your Tenant/Tenant-Buyer confirms they have watched the video tour of the property, read through your "Application" and wants to still meet at the property for a showing then confirm with them the date and time of the showing.

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Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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If you're already going to be out showing the property to one Tenant or Tenant-Buyer you might as well show it more people on the same trip. So, advertise that you're going to be showing the property around the time of your scheduled showing to maximize exposure and showings.

As an example, if your scheduled showing is at 4 PM, you might advertise an open showing window of 4:30 PM to 5 PM as well.

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Take Calls from TenantsTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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To prepare for showing the property to Tenant/Tenant-Buyers:

  • Show up early.
  • Turn all lights on.
  • Adjust temperature... turn AC to cooler in summer, heat to warmer in winter
  • Open windows if house is vacant and stuffy
  • Replace missing marketing materials (yard sign, flyers, etc)

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Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Meet your prospective Tenants and Tenant-Buyers outside at the property near their car when you initial gree them to show the property.

Peek inside their car to see how they maintain their car. That's how your house will look.

Introduce yourself and invite them inside the home.

Strongly recommend you take your shoes off and encourage them to do the same... this sets the tone that you take care of your property and they should too.

Mark this task complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Give prospective Tenants/Tenant-Buyers a quick tour of the property highlighting the things you love best about the property. Remember, why did you buy the property? Those are the things to share.

Invite them to take their time and look around the property.

If the property is still occupied... do not let the prospective Tenant/Tenant-Buyers out of your sight. Be aware of people looking in medicine cabinets or at the current occupant's personal stuff. Remember, you have NOT done your background check yet!

Mark this task complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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While looking at the property, explain your pet policy and pet fee policy to your prospective Tenants/Tenant-Buyers.

Mark this task complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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While looking at the property, explain how utilities work (which ones are in their name and which ones are kept in your name) as well as the utility fee policy to your prospective Tenants/Tenant-Buyers.

If you happen to know average utilities for the property, share that as well.

Mark this task complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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While looking at the property, explain the next steps to your prospective Tenants/Tenant-Buyers:

  • Fill out application (and what that means)
  • How the application approval process goes
  • How you notify them
  • How the reservation deposit works when they're approved

Mark this task complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Provide any prospective tenants and/or tenant-buyers your "Rental Application" to complete by each person 18 or older that will be living in the property.

If you are a licensed Real Estate Agent renting your own property you must also send over a copy of the "Brokerage Disclosure to Tenant" via DocuSign at this step as well to have them acknowledge that you do not represent them in the transaction.

Mark this task as complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Once the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer has completed the "Rental Application" collect it from them. In an ideal world, you'd collect it from them at their current residence giving them little or no notice so you can see how they maintain that property.

Is the property clean? How is the outside maintained? This is how your property will look.

This is also a chance for you to visit with their pet to make sure it is friendly.

It should include:

  • A complete application for each person over the age of 18 who will be living in the property. That includes children over 18. Check the application to make sure you can read everything and that every spot is filled in. Ask them to mark any blank spots with "N/A" if they really are not applicable.
  • Application fee of $30 per application in cash, money order or cashier's check only. Do not accept personal checks.
  • Copy of valid Driver's License (or state-issued photo ID if no Driver's License). Check to make sure they look like the person on the ID and that the name on the ID matches the name on the application.
  • Proof of current balances in checking and savings accounts.
  • Previous 3 months of statements for checking and savings accounts.
  • Latest W-2 and most recent 2 months of paystubs (or if self-employed, previous 2 years or tax returns)

Remember, you're about to loan someone an asset worth (in many cases) hundreds of thousands of dollars... treat the application process as such!

Mark this task as complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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When you pick up their application, do a pet visit. This is also an opportunity to see their current residence.

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Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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Either meet the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer at their car when they pull up or walk the Tenant/Tenant-Buyer out to their car after the showing so you can look inside their car.

If the inside of their car is full of trash, that's how your property will look since that's how they take care of stuff. Write down the condition of their car in your notes.

TIP: If this is not part of your written Tenant Evaluation Criteria, we strongly recommend adding it.

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Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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If the prospective Tenants/Tenant-Buyers do not submit an application do not chase them... you're not trying to convince them they should rent from you... you want someone who wants to rent from you and loves the home.

If they are interested, they'll follow up with you.

Do more marketing instead of chasing.

Mark this task as complete when done.

Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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While we recommend scheduling individual showings for the property, there are some alternative methods you may consider in the right situation.

For example, you could also:

  • Put a lockbox on the property and have people show it themselves. Not good when tenant-occupied.
  • Hold an open house. "I'll be there from 1 to 3 PM on Saturday." Not good when tenant-occupied.
  • Scheduling back t back showings, every X minutes (usually 15). Recommended.

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Showings to TenantsTenant ScreeningUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60

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If you have not done so recently, review the recording of the live presentation of "Tenant Screening" available on:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/tenant-screening/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 41

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If you have not done so recently, review the recording of the live presentation of "Mock Tenant Screening" available on:

https://LearnToBeRich.com/mock-tenant-screening/

Mark this task as complete once you've watched it.

LeaseLease OptionProcess ApplicationProperty ManagementSolving Tenant ChallengesTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 42

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Call your prospective Tenant or Tenant-Buyer references.

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Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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Using your written Tenant Evaluation Worksheet, evaluate your prospective Tenant or Tenant-Buyer and determine if they qualify.

Mark complete when done.

Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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If you have not already done so and they're going to be staying in the property with a pet, you should conduct a pet visit to make sure the pet is friendly with strangers.

Mark complete when done.

Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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If your Tenants or Tenant-Buyers pass your written Tenant Evaluation Criteria, approve them.

If your Tenants or Tenant-Buyers fail your written Tenant Evaluation Criteria, decline them.

Mark this task as complete when finished.

Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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If your Tenants or Tenant-Buyers fail your written Tenant Evaluation Criteria based on their credit, you are required by law to send them a letter stating they were declined.

Here's one sample, but you should have it reviewed by your own attorney prior to using it:

http://www.free-legal-document.com/rejection-letter.html

Mark this task as complete when finished.

Process ApplicationTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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Give your Tenant/Tenant-Buyer a copy of the "Lease".

Mark this task complete when done.

LeaseLease OptionLease Signing and Lease ReviewTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 60

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Once your Tenant/Tenant-Buyer has signed the "Lease" give them a copy.

Mark this task as complete when done.

LeaseLease OptionLease Signing and Lease ReviewTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 61

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If you're doing a Lease-Option, once your Tenant-Buyer has signed the "Option" give them a copy.

Mark this task as complete when done.

LeaseLease OptionLease Signing and Lease ReviewTenant BuyersTenant ScreeningTenantsUltimate Nomad ChecklistWeek 61

Improvements

The following are improvements I plan to make to this page based on some of my Standard Process Improvement Questions.

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