landlord guide to smooth move in move out tenant
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Landlord’s Guide to an Easy Move-in / Move-out Process

The day your tenant moves out can be riddled with stress: that moment you find scratches in the hardwood, a hole in the wall or the water damage in the ceiling. If you’ve got another tenant lined up, you may need to do immediate repairs in a day, or less.

There are a few simple steps you can take to cut the stress and turn move-out day from a headache to a high-five.

Simple steps to cut the stress of tenant move-outs

Send your tenant reminders and let them know what’s expected

Your tenant may not be familiar with the move-out process. Sending an email reminder can make their move better for them too.

  • Move-out Reminder – Send an email 30 days prior to move-out day and attach a checklist.
  • Set up a Rental Move-out Inspection – Set a time to walk your tenant through the Move-out Inspection Report and do the final sign off. Make sure to include the Move-in Inspection Report as a reminder of the original condition.
  • Final Confirmation – Set up a meeting time to complete the move-out process, including returning the deposit balance, keys, etc.

Explain your expectations for cleaning, yard maintenance, utility bills, etc.

Encourage your tenant to review the Move-in Inspection Report and the move-out cleaning list. Let them know this is what you’ll be using to assess the unit’s condition.

Determine charges for the Deposit Refund Statement and explain the refund process

Let your renter know that any refund from their deposit will be mailed back to them at their last known address within 14 days of vacancy. Check your state or provincial tenancy laws for details on timelines and the method of returning deposits.

When determining charges for your “Deposit Refund Statement,” you need to consider:

  • What your lease indicates the deposit can be used for
  • Whether the tenant complied with all of the conditions of the Agreement
  • Whether the tenant returned all keys that were originally given to them at the start of the tenancy. If not, check the lease agreement on the replacement cost and deduct from the key deposit you collected
  • Whether the unit has been left in acceptable condition as referenced in the tenant Move-In Checklist

Sometimes, the relationship can be strained at the end of a tenancy, or you might be left with significant repairs or cleaning. Plan ahead from day one to avoid taking on the costs:

  • set clear expectations and ensure there is an understanding about the condition of the property
  • explain the process of returning the deposit if applicable
  • go through a Cleaning Checklist and the Conditions Report
  • do a detailed walkthrough before tenants move in. Snap photos of any damage and discuss up front.

Aways take another set photos before moving in the next tenant. This gives tenants a clear message that the condition of the suite is something you take seriously. Make it clear you will hold them accountable for any major damages. You can also give them tips and advice on how to keep the suite clean (e.g. having liners inside the oven) to make the final clean that much easier.

Pendo’s Move-Out Inspection Reports take the stress out of the process. Sign up for Pendo and download the Mobile Inspection Report App on iOS or Android. 

Comments 2

Friend And Farelly [2 years ago]

Great article full of great tips! Thank you for sharing

Ashmore Lettings [2 years ago]

Great advice, extremely useful! I will defiantly pass this post on, thanks.