What is meant by Move-In Ready?

Install, Test, Fix, and Clean Every Aspect of the Property to Make the Best First Impression Possible

This is the first and likely only time the entire home will be empty in advance of a tenant move-in. It is imperative to take this opportunity to set your tenants up for success and set standards on how your property should look and be treated.


When the home is free of all personal property of the landlord or property manager, we highly recommend you set up a professional cleaning to be the last step in getting your property move-in ready. Nothing ruins a great deep clean like contractors and painters coming through and leaving dust everywhere. 

We recommend hiring a professional cleaning service to complete this first clean (Alcove covers basic move-out cleanings ahead of future tenant move-ins). While the whole house should be clean, make sure to pay special attention to carpets, windows, walls, bathrooms, and the insides of cabinets and appliances. Here are cleaners Alcove landlords have used and recommend.


  • Utilities – Make sure the following utilities are established and working at the property prior to the first tenant moving in:
    • Water
    • Electric
    • Gas (if applicable)
    • Internet/Wifi (*minimum of 200mbps required)
    • Sewer/Septic
      • Please note: Should any utility not be set up upon move-in, the tenant is eligible for a prorated reimbursement credit of $2.00 per day per missing utility 
  • Windows – Make sure windows open smoothly and the tracks are clean (no dirt or dust). Replace any broken screens and ensure locks work properly. Same goes for any sliding glass doors.
  • Appliances –  When providing appliances for tenants’ use, you have no control over how they use the fixtures in the home.  No matter how much you ask them to clean out the lint trap of the dryer or change air filters, they might “forget.” Spend a little extra time inspecting and servicing major appliances to extend the life of these big ticket items like HVAC systems, sump pumps, refrigerators, stoves, washer and dryers, etc.
    • Commonly Missed Spots:
      • Refrigerator and Freezer bins
      • Water filters in washing machines and dishwashers
      • Oven vents
      • Microwaves
      • Garbage disposals
      • Garage Doors
      • Ice Machines
      • Dishwashers
    • Alcove will send tenants reminders to clean filters every 6 months, but we can’t promise that the tenant will act accordingly
      • Tenants will be held accountable for servicing costs if their failure to clean filters directly causes breakdowns.
    • Please provide tenants and Alcove with appliance instruction manuals and warranty documents, if relevant. It will save you and the tenants time and headaches in the instance a new appliance breaks down.
  • Safety Features – Protect your tenants and your investment by double-checking the safety features at your property. Regardless of state laws, Alcove requires all properties to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Home Security Alarms - Home Security alarms are not required, but if you do have one in your rental home, please double-check that you’ve shared all passcodes to disarm the alarm in case a tenant accidentally sets it off. Renters are only accountable for paying False Alarm Dispatches if they were made aware of the codes in advance of them going off.


  • Air filters- If you want your renters to get in the habit of replacing air filters to keep your HVAC system functioning properly, start them off with a new filter and provide a pack of replacements. Alcove will send reminders to tenants every 6 months to replace air filters, so please help us out by starting the lease with a new one.
  • Batteries –  Starting a new lease with fresh batteries for the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms will help you ensure you are meeting proper safety regulations for your properties.  It is a good idea to invest in high-quality batteries that last a long time – if you can avoid a chirping alarm, you may also prevent an annoyed tenant from disabling the system.


  • Lights and Switches: Take this time to flip every light switch and test the outlets to make sure the electrical system is working properly and that no bulbs need replacing. 
  • Water Faucets: Run all the faucets to ensure they operate properly. You are looking for proper drainage as well as adequate water pressure and temperature. Look under the sinks to ensure there is no moisture or drips.
  • Window Treatments - Oft used and forgotten, poorly functioning window treatments are a quick source of frustration for tenants. 

Freshen Up

Take this time to repaint the unit or replace the carpet if the walls or flooring have outlived normal wear and tear. Any holes in walls larger than a dime should be spackled and painted.  Don’t forget to use all your senses, sometimes the problem isn’t what you see, but what you smell or hear.

Alcove’s Role

While you get your property ready for your first tenant, the Alcove Field Ops team will be working hard to do our part to make our tenants feel at home. For their part, Alcove will be:

  • Installing Furniture in the Shared Space
  • Setting up Utilities (where applicable)
  • Installing electronic front-door locks
  • Installing bedroom specific locks
  • Completing a final Move-In inspections