December 14, 2023

Property Turnover

A guide to help owners understand how Baker Street handles property turnover.


Turnover refers to the period after a tenant moves out and before a new tenant moves in. During this time, we work to prepare the property for the next lease. If tenants move into a property in excellent condition, they are likelier to keep it that way, and the lease term goes much smoother.

We perform our turnover maintenance and cleaning to a high standard and aim to present properties to new tenants in great condition. Should an owner choose to perform any part of turnover themselves the same high standard is required. If, upon inspection, Baker Street finds the property to not be turned to our same standard we will use our vendors to remedy the issues at an owner’s expense.


About one month before the tenant lease ends, Baker Street contacts tenants to remind them their lease is ending. We share our detailed Move-Out Process guide with tenants, which outlines the condition we expect the property to be left in. Our goal with this communication is to have the tenants clean as much as possible and leave little work for owners to do.

After the tenants' move out, a Baker Street team member performs a Post-Move-Out inspection of the property, generating a report that documents the condition with photos. In the report, we note any items that require repair and any beyond wear-and-tear damages.

We refer to the report to organize a repair list for our maintenance team to address before the next tenants' move-in. We also use the report to evaluate any tenant security deposit deductions. After maintenance repairs are complete, our cleaning vendor professionally cleans the unit. If there is carpet, we have our carpet cleaning vendor clean the carpet. Our goal is to hand off the property to the new tenants in excellent, move-in-ready condition. 

Once maintenance and cleaning are complete, a Baker Street team member completes a Pre-Move-In inspection of the property, generating a report that documents the condition with photos. We refer to this report at the end of the tenants' lease when evaluating security deposit deductions. 

Maintenance Process

Turnover is essential to perform preventative maintenance and be proactive in fixing broken or failing items. As our maintenance team works through a property, they may find things that a previous tenant failed to report or other deferred maintenance needs. While most tenants are typically good at reporting maintenance needs throughout the lease period, some do not. Some deferred maintenance is to be expected, and we aim to maintain a property's condition to a high standard. Doing so ultimately reduces maintenance costs during the lease term.

If the property has an upcoming City Rental Inspection, our maintenance team diligently repairs items required per City code. This streamlines our inspection process, minimizing future maintenance visits to the property after the initial inspection. You can read more about our inspection process in our Rental Inspections & Permits guide.

Common Turnover Repairs
  • Change the tenant keypad code
  • Replace the keypad battery
  • Replace any locking handles with non-locking handles
  • Replace the furnace filter and check the furnace/boiler
  • Change the thermostat battery
  • Change smoke detector batteries
  • Check and replace expired smoke detectors
  • Clean and clear the drains
  • Replace range hood vent filters
  • Replace any burnt-out or mismatched lightbulbs
  • Check and repair/replace outlets and switches
  • Install or replace broken window blinds
  • Replace any worn window screens
  • Check and clean bathroom fans
  • Check plumbing fixtures for leaks and repair/replace
  • Check toilets and repair/replace components
  • Replace broken sink pop-ups
  • Replace outdated or leaking shower heads
  • Replace fridge ice/water filters
  • Re-silicone kitchens or bathrooms
  • Repair or adjust doors to close and latch

Cleaning Process

After maintenance is done, our cleaning vendor professionally cleans the property. Our cleaning vendor thoroughly cleans the property and does excellent work; we often receive positive feedback from tenants. While some tenants do well with regular upkeep and cleaning during their lease period, many do not. We also find that maintaining and deeply cleaning appliances and other household fixtures aids in extending their lifespan.

Please refer to our Property Cleaning Checklist for more information on the cleaning process. We recognize that owners are sometimes surprised by cleaning costs; however, we encourage owners to view the turnover cleaning as an annual cleaning expense, as deferred cleaning is necessary. For example, if one were to hire a weekly cleaning service at $100/week, this expense would significantly exceed the cost of the annual turnover cleaning. You can read more about average cleaning costs below.

Larger Repairs

As we prepare for property turnover, we may identify the need for larger projects such as painting, carpet replacement, or appliance replacement necessary. There may be instances where more significant repairs are required to lease the property. We notify owners of more substantial repairs in advance so they can budget for the expense(s) accordingly.

We aim to paint properties every 2-4 years depending on the condition of the paint in the unit and how long existing tenants have lived there. We only replace the carpeting when it is significantly worn and cannot get cleaned to a high standard. We work and partner with local vendors who provide us with preferred pricing, and we will often buy carpet/paint in bulk to provide you with an excellent price. We have found our process to be the most cost-effective and time-efficient. We can assure owners that we are working on getting you the best price possible!

Turnover Costs

We aim to keep turnover costs low for owners; however, owners should expect the following expenses after the property is turned over. We recommend owners budget a one-month rent for a one-year lease cycle for turnover costs. Costs tend to be higher if the property was occupied over a one-year lease cycle or if this is Baker Street's first time managing turnover. Turnover costs for cleaning and maintenance are withdrawn from the owner payout 30-60 days following the start of a new lease.

Average Turnover Costs
Average Cleaning Costs

Security Deposit Deductions

When we complete a Post-Move-Out inspection, we specifically evaluate if the tenants caused any damage. We compare our Pre-Move-In inspection report with the Post-Move-Out inspection report and the Post-Move-In checklist that tenants completed upon move-in. Our goal is to be thorough and transparent about damages caused by tenants.

We cannot legally hold back any portion of the security deposit for cleaning, painting, and regular maintenance as a part of normal wear and tear. While we cannot charge for cleaning, we can charge for junking of items left behind and damages beyond normal wear and tear. We also collect a one-time cleaning fee at the beginning of a tenant's lease to help offset turnover cleaning expenses; the fee is $100/per bedroom. Otherwise, the owner is responsible for paying for maintenance and cleaning costs between tenants. Please see below to understand the law:

For purposes of MCL 554.607(a), actual damages do not include ordinary cleaning costs. Smolen v Dahlmann Apts, Ltd, 127 Mich App 108, 115 (1983).

The Court stated: "While a grimy kitchen wall, a soiled carpet, and a stained couch are all unattractive, the wall, carpet and couch themselves have not been injured. Thus, the Legislature could not have intended that a rental unit needing cleaning has suffered 'damages' under the statute."

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