Tenant move outs should always be planned in advance, and the day/time agreed upon by both tenant and landlord. Tenants should always give their landlord advance notice of their exact move out day and time. If a tenant waits until the very last day of the lease to move, sometimes time runs out and they can't finish until the next day. By communicating with their landlord, the transition will become much smoother. What happens if a tenant's move pushes into another day or more? HOLDOVER RENT and/or possible conflict with new tenants or a work crew showing up and unable to work. These cost money, and the expenses will most likely be the responsibility of the tenant!
There is NO requirement for a landlord to do "walk through" move outs with their tenants. There can be good reasons why in person move-outs aren't a good idea. The end of the lease is the end of the lease. Both parties can go their separate ways, and the landlord can simply wait until the tenant has moved and returned keys, and the property is vacant to assess the condition of the property and handle any security deposit claims.
Tenants can request walk-throughs with their landlords prior to moving out, but this should be scheduled/requested in advance and agreed to ahead of time. This may be helpful if a tenant is unsure of what to do to prepare the property to give back to the landlord, especially if their goal is to get their full security deposit returned. In this event, the landlord would go to the property prior to move out and "walk through" with the tenant, pointing out anything that the tenant needs to take care of before handing back their keys. It's important to note: landlords can't expect or require tenants to "improve" the property.
The legal requirement for tenant move outs is to leave the property in clean, broom-swept condition free of harm or repairs - as judged by the move-in condition and any lease provisions that may have been agreed to. Tenants should use the below list of items as a guide to help protect their security deposit from claims.
It is ALWAYS a great idea for a tenant to hire a professional cleaning person/crew to clean the property once it's vacant, but before handing the keys back to the landlord. Cleaning is very inexpensive, and it OFTEN saves the tenant from losing much more money from their security deposit.
Helpful tip: change the AC filter the same time once every month. Take a photo of the size of the filter and keep in your phone, so you can refer back to it when you're in Publix or Walmart and easily buy your new filter while grocery shopping. By writing the date you've placed the new filter inside the unit ON the filter, you can check and easily be sure you're changing it every month on time. Tenants should always leave a new, clean AC filter when they move out and make sure the AC closet is dust free and clean.
Tenant move outs should be planned in advance, and communicated with the landlord. Extra planning will be needed if the property is located within a condo association and or condo building or high rise. Why? Renting moving trucks, reserving elevators, adhering to specific days/times allowed for moving can all cause issues and added expenses for the tenant if not planned for in advance. Planning to move everything in one day? Not possible unless you have a fleet of movers and a huge truck working all day, and we've even seen that fail! Moves take days and weeks, from packing to moving things out and transporting to cleaning and repairing any tenant-caused issues (holes in the walls from flat screen TVs?). If the move ends up falling onto the next day or two... tenants can be charged a daily HOLDOVER rate. What's this? DOUBLE RENT!!! By communicating and planning ahead, tenants can avoid this common and problematic situation.
Tenant move outs should always include taking a full set of photos of the rental property once they have moved everything out and cleaned the property. By having a full set of photos, you can dispute claims on your security deposit that the landlord may impose. If you disagree with any of those expenses, you'll have photo proof for the dispute. No photos? Not easy to win disputes because most landlords have a full set of move-in and move-out photos these days.
Make sure to read through any security deposit documentation from your landlord as soon as it comes in. If you have any disagreements with any part of it and want to formally dispute it, you only have a certain amount of days to do so. Waiting too long will mean losing the ability to use that remedy for a disagreement.
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