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Creating Your Resident Handbook

February 18, 2020

Build Resident Relations with One Handbook

A Resident Handbook can help landlords build a positive relationship with their tenants.  It’s relatively simple to put together and is great way to communicate good apartment management practices to tenants.

You might know the resident handbook as a tenant handbook or renter handbook. It’s purpose is to help with tenant onboarding and helping tenants feel less stress about managing their unit. You might even think of it as a user manual for apartments.  You can make it available on your property management website or online tenant portal.

Handy Reference for Renters

In the handbook, you can explain the lease and house rules with your tenants on their move-in day. However, it’s essential to provide additional information about the property and nearby community. This helps your tenant take better care of the unit, avoid maintenance calls and help them adapt in their new neighborhood and living environment. 

Here is the breakdown of recommended sessions in your Resident Handbook:

General Information 

  • Property Address
  • Management Office Phone Number (list both regular and after business hours phone number if they are different)
  • Management Office Fax Number
  • Management Office Email Address
  • Management Office Business Hours
  • Name and Position of all property management staff

Which Situations Are Considered Emergencies?

  • No electricity in entire unit
  • No heat (cannot maintain 68 degrees in unit)
  • No water
  • Flooding in entire unit
  • Toilet not functioning (if only one toilet in unit)
  • Refrigerator not working (not cooling or freezing)
  • Unit door does not close, lock or unlock

Maintenance Tips

  • Oven – mop up spills or grease immediately; do not line burners with aluminum foils
  • Refrigerator – locate the temperature dial inside the refrigerator and regulate the temperature
  • Sinks and bathtub – clean them with gentle cleaners; do not use harsh abrasives to harm the surface; wipe the tub and shower walls after each use
  • Windows – use non-abrasive cleanser such as Windex to clean
  • Window coverings – use soft cloth or feather duster to clean
  • Toilet – use plunger to unclog and flush; if toilet overflows, call management
  • Floor care – remove stain immediately; clean on a regular basis
  • To minimize mold growth, open windows to allow ventilation. Maintain your unit temperature between 50- and 80-Degree Fahrenheit. Turn on the bathroom fan when showering to allow moisture to be vented from the bathroom. Use the exhaust fan when cooking in the kitchen. Report an evidence of water leak or excessive moisture in your unit.


  • Laundry – location, open hours, number of washers and dryers, the cost of running each wash and dry cycle; remind residents to remove clothes promptly after cycles are finished
  • Fitness Center – location, open hours, the types of exercise equipment
  • Community Room – rules and regulations such as no alcoholic consumption and smoking, amount of security deposit and cleaning fee, the maximum occupancy of the room

Tips on Vacation Preparedness

  • Notify management the dates residents will be gone;
  • Stop deliver newspapers or parcels; 
  • Lock all doors and windows

Earthquake Preparedness

  • Basic emergency supplies should include first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio, water (at least 3 gallons of water per person per day), canned and non-perishable food, can opener, wrench, toilet paper, plastic bags, face masks, medication
  • Remind what residents should do during and after the earthquake

Emergency Service Information

  • In case of fire or other life-threatening emergency, residents immediately call 911.
  • Nearby police station Address
  • Police department non-emergency phone number
  • Fire station phone number
  • Animal Control 
  • Public Works

Nearby Community Service and Merchant Information

  • Hospital and health care center
  • Community and recreational center
  • Senior center
  • Child care center
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Schools
  • Post offices
  • Banks
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Public transportation

We hope the development of your Resident Relations Handbook will serve as a popular reference for your tenants. It’s one they can access readily and helps with your onboarding process.

Learn more about tenant relations and management practices in our other posts:

Income and Expense ReportsRental Property Management Software | Apartment Lease Transfer | Reviews of Rental Property Software | Housing Market Forecast | Resident Accommodation Requests | Tenant Eviction FilingInspection and Maintenance Checks | Property Performance Standards | Building Operations | Building Rules | Tenant Moves |   Property Management App | Property Management Software Prices | Property Software Comparison

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