How to Successfully Prepare Renters for a Move Out

There are many reasons a renter moving out might make it a bad experience for a property manager. Perhaps the renter might not vacate on time, or he or she vacates and leaves the apartment in ruins. Instead of putting yourself in a position where you might have to file an eviction or repair a mess, take some time to coach renters on their responsibilities when moving out so you can return their safety deposits.

Create a Checklist of What You’ll Inspect and Expect Before the Move Out

Don’t assume the tenant will remember everything you stated prior to moving in. List everything that could impact whether you return the tenant’s security deposit. Whether it’s requiring the tenant to steam clean the carpet or paint the walls, write it down and make sure it corresponds with your previous requirements.

Deliver the Checklist to the Tenant in Person and Answer Any Questions

After the tenant has given you his or her Notice to Vacate, acknowledge it and deliver your move-out checklist in person right away. This gives the tenant time to plan ahead and take care of what he or she needs. Ask the tenant if he or she has any questions about the checklist, as confusion usually leads to noncompliance.

When delivering the checklist, it’s also a good idea to remind the tenant that he or she should leave the utilities in his or her name until the final day of the rental term.

Contact the Tenant Multiple Times Leading Up to the Move-Out Inspection

You don’t want to make your tenant feel like you’re keeping tabs on him or her. But you do want to ensure you’re both on the same page. Ask the tenant about his or her progress with the checklist, and if he or she needs any help taking care of a task.

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