When you own more than one South Florida rental property, it’s extremely important to expedite the move-out process. Chances are, your tenants (particularly first-time tenants) aren’t aware of what you expect from them. They don’t know that they’re supposed to clean the property, pay for repairs, and so on.
If you have a tenant who’s moving out soon, this guide can be your go-to for everything you need to do when a tenant moves out.
#1 Prepare a Move-Out Checklist
A move-out checklist contains everything your tenants need to do prior to move-out day. This should be given to them the moment they tell you that they intend to move out, to give them ample time to do it all. It’s very important to provide a checklist as not all tenants know they have tasks to complete – they merely assume that they can leave at moment’s notice.
The checklist should clearly spell out each task, and provide instructions on what to do so they can vacate your property. You can create your own checklist or partner with a property management company with premade checklists. However, it would be better to create a custom checklist that’s tailored to your property’s needs.
In general, your checklist should contain tasks that restore the property to its original, pre-occupancy condition. These include mowing the lawn, throwing out the trash, and so on.
You should state in your checklist that the tasks should be done prior to the move-out inspection (more on that later on), otherwise you will have to use their security deposit to pay for repairs, cleaning, repainting, etc.
#2 Conduct a Property Inspection
Prior to the move-out date, you should visit the property to conduct a comprehensive property inspection. Alternatively, you can ask your property management company to check the property.
A rental property inspection allows you to see if the property’s post-occupancy condition is up to standard. Using your move-in inspection checklist, you can check if its condition now is the same as its condition on the day the tenant moved in. If not, you should tell your tenant what they need to do, or use their security deposit to cover the costs.
It’s important for your tenant to be present when you conduct the move-out property inspection, as this is one way to avoid disputes down the road. They should sign and agree to the findings of the inspection, too.
#3 Decide on a Move-out Date
Tell your tenants when they should move out. Understandably, you’d want to rerent your property, so it would be ideal if your tenant vacated the unit as soon as possible. You should also outline what they need to do when they move out. These instructions should be separate from your property inspection checklist.
It’s very important for your tenant to return the keys, as you wouldn’t want them to re-enter the property, particularly if you already have new tenants in there. So, for your future tenants’ safety, you should collect the keys when your current tenants move out, and rekey the doors, as well.
#4 Inform the Tenant if You Intend to Put Up Advertising
If you want to advertise the property prior to the move-out date, inform your tenant. No tenant wants to be surprised by a big “For Rent” sign on their front lawn. Also, if you put a “For Rent” sign, you can anticipate people to want to pop in to see the property. Your tenant will wonder why people want to check out the property, so you should tell them that you plan to put it on the market.
Remember that you or your South Florida property management firm can’t show your property to potential tenants without the current tenant’s consent. They should agree on when and what time the showing will probably be. That way, they can plan their day around it, as some tenants want to be present when potential tenants are checking out the property.
#5 Get the Tenant’s Contact Details
Chances are, your tenant already has their new address, number, and more. Be sure to obtain this information from your tenant so you have a way to return the security deposit (if there’s still a deposit to return, that is). Remember that as the landlord, you are responsible for returning the security deposit by a certain date. If you don’t, you could face fees, or you could find yourself in court.
Another reason why you should get your tenant’s information is that it allows you to forward any mail that arrives at the rental. In case your tenant’s packages get delivered to your rental, you’ll have a way to send them to them.
Tips for a Smooth Move-Out Process
Here are some tips to guarantee that the move-out process goes smoothly:
- Document Everything. From the checklist to the inspection report, it’s important to document everything in digital form. Do not count on oral statements, as the situation can turn into a “he said, she said” one. Communicate with your tenant via email so you can easily trace what each party claimed, said, etc.
- Conduct a Move-in Inspection. The point of a move-out inspection is to check if the tenant restored the property to its pre-occupancy state. If you don’t have a baseline, how will you be able to tell your tenant that the property is not in an acceptable condition?
- Partner with a Property Management Company. A property management company is familiar with the move-in and move-out process. By partnering with them, you can speed up the process, and rerent your property as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
Partner with Luxury Property Care today to expedite the move-out process. With us by your side, you won’t have any trouble when your tenants move out. We’ll promptly communicate with your tenants to ensure they complete the tasks on their checklist.