Moving Out FAQ

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Q. How much advance notice do my tenants need to provide before they move out?

A. For month-to-month rental agreement (periodic rental agreement), your tenant is obliged to send you written notice at least 30 days in advance. For weekly tenancy, tenants must give at least 7 days advance notice.

For one year lease on the other hand (also known as fixed-term tenancy agreement), then you have to look at your leasing agreement and see what it says about vacating the property and the notice your tenants must provide. The tenancy ends when the lease agreement ends, but it is still a good practice to let your tenant know that he or she has to let you know should he or she decides to move out.


Q. If the tenant vacates the property in the middle of the month, am I required to prorate the rent?

A. Some rental property owners agree to prorate the rent when their tenants move out, but as a landlord, you are not legally required to do so. If the tenant decides to leave in the middle of the month, then you can charge him or her for the entire month’s rental fee.


Q. Can tenants take back the notice if they are not able to move out?

A. The 30-day notice indicates a commitment for the tenant to fulfill, but should the tenant decide to stay, then it is your call to let him or her stay or not. You are not obliged to give your tenant(s) extra time past the date indicated in the notice, and you may charge your tenant with rent for overstaying, or you can process an eviction procedure.


Q. Am I obliged to pay my tenant’s relocation fees?

A. There are many factors involved here. If the rental unit falls under a city with rent control jurisdiction, then you need to pay for your tenant’s relocation assistance. Also, if you breach your own lease agreement, and your tenant decides to move out, then you need to pay for assistance of his or her relocation fees.


Q. Can I ask my tenants to clean the property before they move out?

A. Absolutely of course! Your tenant is required to leave the rental property unit as clean as they moved in, minus normal wear and tear. Also, if your rental or leasing agreement requires your tenant to clean the blinds and carpets before they leave, then they should fulfill those commitments.


Q. Do I need to make a walk-out inspection with my tenant?

A. The Landlord-Tenant act doesn’t require you to make a walk out inspection along with your tenant, though your tenant can ask you to conduct one. This is a good idea for both you and your tenant, particularly for the documenting the property’s condition before your tenant vacates.

It is best that you and your tenant inspect the property together and fill out your rental unit condition report before you let him or her move out.

Another good way of documenting is to ask your tenant to take good and detailed pictures of the rental unit before they leave. Of course, you’ll need to ask your tenant to put in a copy of the day’s newspaper in every frame of the pictures as proof.


Q. Should I give my tenant his Security Deposit on move-out day?

A. No. You need to make the ample inspections and make sure everything in your rental property is in order before you give the money for security deposit back to your tenant. There are many things you can miss in the initial inspection, and the last thing you want is to be  surprised with hidden problems and damages. Besides, in almost every state in the country, landlords are given two weeks to 45 days to return their tenant’s security deposit.


Q. If my tenant caused substantial damage in my rental property when he moved out, what can I do?

A. It is your tenant’s responsibility to leave the rental property unit on the same condition as they moved in, minus the normal wear and tear. Therefore, it is their responsibility to pay for the cost of repairs for the damages they have caused. If the tenant caused damage to the rental property prior to moving out, you are entitled to either one of two remedy options; you can either ask your tenant to compensate you for the fair market value of the items damaged, or reimburse you for the cost of the repair bills if you hired someone to do the repair using his security deposit.