The Rental Move-Out
Rental Properties – Landlords and Tenants
Most problems between landlords and tenants in rental properties are caused by a breakdown in communication. For tenants, when they give notice that they plan to vacate their rental, it is important that they provide the notice to the owner or property manager in writing. The notice should have the address of the rental home or apartment, the name of the tenant, the signature of the tenant, the date of the last day of occupancy, and the date that the notice is signed. It does not have to be a formal legal document, but don’t rely on phone or even personal conversations with the owner or property manager. You must document the final date you expect to be living in the rental home. It could be easily forgotten without the document. Also, have the owner or property manager sign receipt of the notice.
Once the landlord or property manager receives the notice, he should send a letter to the tenant clearly explaining the expectations of the move-out from the rental home or apartment. Provide a cleaning checklist that includes detailed instructions on what is expected of the tenant. Should the tenant spackle nail holes and touch them up with paint, or would the property owner or property manager prefer to do that? Does the carpet need to be professionally cleaned? If there is damage, should the tenant make arrangements for the repairs or should the owner or property manager do the repairs?
Rental Property Harmony Between Landlord and Tenant
During the inspection, the owner or property manager should make sure the home is clean for the next resident. If there are any areas that still need cleaning, provide the tenant with a list and a timeline within which you’d like it completed. If there is damage, discuss it openly and come to an agreement on the best way to handle it so that the tenant feels he or she is being treated fairly.
The Golden Rule is a great philosophy of life and business, and the business of rental homes and apartments is no exception. But it’s a two-way street:
- Tenant: leave the home in the condition they’d like to find it in if they were moving into the home. Don’t cut corners.
- Owner or property manager: handle cleaning and damage issues the way he or she would like them handled if he were a tenant. Be fair and reasonable.