Tenant Move-Out Checklist For Landlords | Process Street Tenant Move-Out Checklist For Landlords – Process Street

Introduction:

When it’s time for a tenant to move out, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible so that new tenants can be screened and onboarded without delay.

Much of the move-out process is ensuring that the tenant adheres to the contract and leaves you with as little to do as possible. While you, of course, cannot control everything, a clear process coupled with frequent communication helps enable your tenants to do their part and prepares you to deal with the situation in the case that they do not fulfill their contractual responsibilities. That is why we've put together this tenant move-out checklist for landlords. 

Run this checklist every time a tenant is moving out to efficiently prepare the property for the next tenant while making sure you do not incur any lost revenue or have to face a messy legal situation.

First steps:

Record tenant and property details

Tenant details

Property details

Ensure adequate notice has been given by the tenant

The tenant should provide you with a written notice to move out. This should clearly state the reason for moving out and a specific date for when it will take place. The date they select must provide you with enough notice as stated in the lease agreement. 

Confirm move-out date

Select the move-out date that you have confirmed with the tenant.

Property inspection:

Once the move-out date has been confirmed between you and the tenant, it's time to conduct a walk-through inspection of the property to document any damage as well as cleaning and general maintenance needs. 

This is also an essential step in evaluating what portion (if not all) of the security deposit will be paid back to the tenant once they have vacated the property.  

As you perform the inspection, keep in mind that some things need to be checked in every room, while others are unique to specific rooms. For example, you will obviously only need to inspect a stove in the kitchen, whereas flooring, walls, doors, locks, and windows will need to be inspected in all rooms. 

A simple guide to move-out inspections for landlords

Check out our comprehensive home inspection checklist for more detailed instructions. 

Send email to schedule inspection

Contact the tenant to schedule an inspection date for you to evaluate the overall condition of the property. 

Confirm inspection date

When the tenant has replied to your email, confirming a date for you to perform a walk-through inspection, enter it below. 

Gather documents from move-in inspection

Select the date of the move-in inspection conducted when the previous tenant moved out along with any documents/photographs that you can refer to when evaluating the current state of the property.

Inspect kitchen

Carefully inspect each functional element of the kitchen. Complete the sub-checklist below and document your notes in writing and photographs.

The sink: Turn the faucet on and check for water pressure and drainage. Inspect under the sink cabinet looking out for leaks, mold or water damage. Also, check the water valves for corrosion or leakage. 

Countertops: Inspect for any significant chips, cracks or gauges. 

Cabinet and drawer storage: Check that all cabinet doors are functioning properly. Note if any hinges or hardware are missing. 

The stove: Check each burner to ensure they are clean and working correctly 

The oven: Check that the oven is clean. 

The refrigerator: Check that the refrigerator is clean and functioning properly. 

The dishwasher: Check for mold inside the wall frame. This would indicate if the seals and hoses connecting the dishwasher to the water source are damaged. 

  • 1
    The sink
  • 2
    Countertops
  • 3
    Cabinets and drawer storage
  • 4
    The stove
  • 5
    The oven
  • 6
    The refrigerator
  • 7
    The dishwasher
  • 8
    Flooring
  • 9
    Windows
  • 10
    Light fixtures
  • 11
    Walls
  • 12
    Ceiling

Inspect living area

Document the conditions of:

  • 1
    Flooring
  • 2
    Walls
  • 3
    Ceiling
  • 4
    Doors
  • 5
    Windows
  • 6
    Light fixtures
  • 7
    Smoke detector

Inspect bedrooms(s)

Go through each bedroom and note the condition of: 

  • 1
    Flooring
  • 2
    Carpets (if any)
  • 3
    Walls
  • 4
    Ceiling
  • 5
    Doors
  • 6
    Windows
  • 7
    Light fixtures
  • 8
    Smoke detectors

Inspect bathroom(s)

Bathrooms often have hidden damage, so be sure to:

  • 1
    Check around the toilet for leaks
  • 2
    Check for broken tiles
  • 3
    Check the sink and drainage
  • 4
    Check the faucet
  • 5
    Check the showerhead
  • 6
    Check condition of the mirror
  • 7
    Check the walls and ceiling
  • 8
    Check windows

Move-out day:

Obtain a forwarding address

According to landlordstation.com:

"One of the tricks of the tenant trade is to “forget” to leave a forwarding address to a landlord upon checking out of a property."

Don't get tricked!

Make sure the tenant provides you with a forwarding address so you can return their deposit and forward their mail

If you are dealing with a troublesome tenant, not having a forwarding address is a problem as they may leave the property in such poor condition that their security deposit cannot cover the issue and you need to file a lawsuit against them.

Collect the keys

The day has come for the tenant to vacate the property. Be very clear about where you would like them to leave/drop-off the keys. This should be stated in the lease agreement, along with a description of the penalty if they fail to return the keys within a certain timeframe. 

Security deposit:

Assess condition of the property

Compare the move-in report to the move-out inspection, listing any items that are not on the move-in report.

Remember that not all items, specifically normal wear and tear, can be charged to the tenant. 

Kitchen: {{form.Kitchen_-_Inspection_notes_(damage,_cleanliness,_maintenance)}}

Living area: {{form.Living_area_-_Inspection_notes_(damage,_cleanliness,_maintenance)}}

Bedroom(s): {{form.Bedroom(s)_-_Inspection_notes_(damage,_cleanliness,_maintenance)}}

Bathroom(s): {{form.Bathroom(s)_-_Inspection_notes_(damage,_cleanliness,_maintenance)}}

Determine how much will be paid back

State laws typically allow landlords to use deposits to cover:

  • unpaid rent or other charges--for example, unpaid utility bills
  • repairing the damage the tenant or their guests caused (not for normal wear and tear)
  • cleaning the premises so they’re as clean as when the tenant moved in

Read about the difference between damage and normal wear and tear. 

When returning the deposit to the tenant, be sure to include an itemized list of damages and the 

Here's a handy video overview of how to properly handle security deposit returns

Return the deposit within 30 days

Return the deposit by sending it to the forwarding address they provided you when they moved out. 

Amount to be paid back: {{form.Amount_to_be_paid_back}}

If applicable, include the itemized list of damages/excessive dirt that you attached in the previous task.

Forwarding address: 

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{{form.Address_line_2_(apartment,_suite,_unit)_2}}
{{form.City_2}}
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