Titan Properties USA

Just as there is a move-in checklist for landlords, there’s also a move-out checklist to guide you when the time comes. Taking the right steps now will make it easier to market your property and ensure a seamless transition to a new tenant in the future.

Communicate to the Tenant Their Responsibilities

It’s your responsibility to communicate to the tenant their responsibilities. These are the essential items to include in this section of your move-out checklist.

Notify you of moving out with ample notice

Ensure the tenant provides ample notice of their move-out date as specified in the lease agreement. Typically, this notice period ranges from 30 to 60 days, depending on local laws and lease terms. Early notification allows you to plan for necessary inspections, schedule any repairs or maintenance, and begin the search for a new tenant, minimizing the vacancy period.

Communicate the importance of this notice clearly to your tenant. Remind them that failing to provide adequate notice could incur additional charges or penalties, as outlined in the lease. Provide written guidelines and a formal notice template to streamline the process. Early, clear communication makes for a smooth transition and reduces potential misunderstandings or disputes.

Cleaning and repairs

Communicate to the tenant the need to clean the property thoroughly and make necessary repairs before moving out. Emphasize that the property should be brought back to its original condition, within reason, based on the initial move-in inspection report.

Provide a checklist to guide the tenant:

  • Clean all floors, walls, and surfaces.
  • Remove all personal belongings and trash.
  • Deep-clean kitchens and bathrooms, including appliances and fixtures.
  • Repair any damage caused during the tenancy, such as holes in walls or broken fixtures.

Remind the tenant that failure to address these items could result in deductions from their security deposit. 

Offering a detailed checklist and clear expectations helps facilitate a smooth move-out process and protects both parties from potential disputes. 

Remove personal belongings

The tenant must remove all personal belongings from the property before moving out. This step is crucial for avoiding additional charges or delays in moving out.

Highlight key points to ensure the tenant understands their responsibility:

  • Complete removal: All personal items, including furniture, decor, and trash, must be taken out. Anything left behind will be considered abandoned property.
  • Avoiding fees: Inform the tenant that any items left behind could incur additional charges for removal and disposal, which will be deducted from their security deposit.
  • Smooth transition: An empty property allows for a smoother transition to the next tenant and enables necessary cleaning and repairs without hindrance.

Provide the tenant with a timeline and reminders to start the removal process early. Offer resources such as local donation centers, junk removal services, or storage facilities. 

Clear communication and support during this process will help the tenant understand the importance of this step.

Return keys

Clearly explain the process for returning keys. Arrange a specific time and method for key return, whether it’s in person or through a secure drop-off location.

Discontinue or transfer utilities and services

Advise the tenant to discontinue or transfer utilities and services by their move-out date. This includes electricity, water, gas, and any other services they set up during their tenancy.

Provide a forwarding address for the security deposit refund

Request that the tenant provide you with a forwarding address. This is essential for sending the security deposit refund and any necessary communication after they move out.

Move-Out Inspection

The move-out inspection is a crucial step in the rental process, ensuring the property is returned to you in good condition and determining any necessary deductions from the security deposit. Conduct this inspection with the tenant present to promote transparency, and address any concerns on the spot.

Key areas to cover during the inspection:

  • Cleanliness: Check if the property is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Repairs: Identify any damage that needs repair beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Personal belongings: Confirm that all personal items have been removed.

Document the condition of the property with photos and detailed notes. Compare the current state to the move-in inspection report to assess any discrepancies. This thorough rental property inspection allows you to communicate any deductions from the security deposit for repairs or cleaning costs.

This process protects your investment and fosters a fair and transparent relationship with your (former) tenant.

Security Deposit Refund

Handling the security deposit refund process transparently will help maintain a positive relationship. Start by requesting the tenant’s forwarding address.

From there, communicate the time frame for receiving the refund. State laws typically dictate this period, ranging from 14 to 30 days after the tenant moves out. 

For example, here’s the law in the state of Florida:

Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant’s last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim.

If there are any deductions from the security deposit, provide an itemized list detailing the reasons for each deduction. Common deductions include unpaid rent, necessary repairs beyond normal wear and tear, and cleaning costs. Including photos and documentation from the move-out inspection can help justify these charges.

Clear communication and adherence to legal requirements are key to a successful refund process.

Final Thoughts

With a comprehensive move-out checklist for landlords, navigating the move-out process can be smooth and hassle-free. Clearly communicate expectations, conduct thorough inspections, and handle security deposits fairly. With a little planning and attention to detail, you can make the move-out process efficient and stress-free for both you and your tenants.

Save time and money with this refreshing guide to managing your own properties.

In The Self-Managing Landlord, Amelia McGee and Grace Gudenkauf share the secrets of efficient property management, tenant screening and onboarding, and scaling your business—all to help you break free from the 9-to-5 grind and create lasting wealth through real estate.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

This post was originally published on this site

Skip to content