Move Out Day Tips for Landlords

Posted by Teresa on August 9, 2010 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Rents and Deposits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblogWhen a tenant informs you that they will not be renewing their lease, provide them with move-out instructions. Written notice of your expectations is always a good idea when it comes to dealing with tenants.

What Should Move Out Instructions Cover?

  1. The first item should be that a written move-out notice is required from the tenant. This helps clear up any possibility of confusion over dates and terms of the move-out.
  2. Ask the tenant to provide an address to which you can return the security deposit, after deducting legitimate expenses for repairs or cleaning.
  3. Inform the tenant you will be contacting them to conduct the move-out inspection. Let them know this is not optional: you will need the tenant to be present to initial and sign the inspection list.
  4. Let the tenants know that according to the terms of the lease, the unit must be returned to the same condition it was in when they moved it. If they’ve painted a different color on the walls, they need to repaint it. If they don’t clean the unit thoroughly, you can hire cleaners and deduct the fee from the tenant’s security deposit. Any damage repair costs will also be deducted from the deposit.
  5. If there is a fireplace in the unit, let tenants know they must have it professionally cleaned before moving.
  6. Tenants might not know that the last day of the lease is the day they must be out. Inform them that any extra days will be charged a prorated amount of their monthly rent. To calculate daily rent, divide the total rent by 30.
  7. Ask the tenant to set the thermostat at whatever temperature you prefer.
  8. Utilities need to be transferred to you or turned off, according to what works for you. If ther is another tenant lined up, then obviously you don’t need to turn them off. Let the tenant know to inform the utility companies, including gas, electric, cable, water and sewer, of the last day they will be in the space. Warn them not to have the utilities transferred or turned off until the end of the last day of their lease.
  9. Let the tenant know where to leave any extra trash and where to drop off the keys.

One thing landlords can count on is that eventually, all of their tenants will move out. Whether it’s a good thing or bad, it can be a smooth process when you’re organized and approach each move-out the same way.