The right way to handle tenants who are moving out

Eventually, tenants experience that “feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving,” which Led Zeppelin describes, and they move away.

When this happens, you will want to make the transition of the tenant out of the house as smooth as possible. The best way to do this is by telling the tenant what you expect from them. We send a letter that clearly spells out the checkout process. This way there are no misunderstandings, we are all on the same page, wavelength, sheet of music, or stairway to heaven.

Move Out Information Letter to Tenants

Some key things that we mention in our letter are:

1.) How much of their security deposit will be returned.

2.) There will need to be a review of their check in sheet (and attach a copy for them).

3.) What you expect in terms of house cleaning.

4.) Reminders to contact the utility companies to disconnect services in their name.

5.) Reminders to cancel newspaper and other subscriptions, and to provide the Postal Service with a change of address form.

6.) Reminders to contact us when they are ready for the final house inspection.

7.) A note that if keys are not returned, they will be charged.

8.) Any costs that we must pay to repair the house will be taken out of their security deposit, and we will refund the money due them within 10 days.

Download a copy of my “move-out” information letter to tenants.

(The link to my letter may not work on Internet Explorer. It seems to work fine with Google Chrome.)

Why be lenient with the damage deposit?

In general, we are pretty lenient when it comes to charging tenants for little things on the checklist. If they move out, and they have been good tenants, we are going return to them most, if not all of their security (or damage) deposit back, barring some obvious big broken item.

Our perspective is that we made a lot of money from the tenants over the years, and we don’t want them to leave on a sour note just because they thought we might have overcharged them on some ticky-tack repair.

 

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For complete details, charge over and read John’s article:

Fearless Men’s Beard and Mustache Competition | Movember 2012.

 

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Coming VERY Soon!

How to Turn Your Home into a Rental House, Instead of Selling It
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34 Responses to “The right way to handle tenants who are moving out”

  1. Elisa says:

    Wow, these are some really great ideas for anyone planning a move. I think it’s wise to start planning from early because a house move can be very overwhelming. Thank you for the post!

  2. Though I agree that a walk-through should never be about confirming the return of a deposit, I have to disagree that they are not important enough to push through.

    The walk through should not be a time for the tenant to get the landlord’s approval. It should be a time to 1) discuss any problems that have not yet been addressed or have been discovered during cleaning and 2) for the landlord to point out to the tenant anything that the latter might have missed but would drain the deposit. That is, it’s a final chance to bring it up to the landlord’s standards.

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